The Price of Stress in the Workplace
Stress and mental health problems are increasing and in 2021 days off due to mental health issues cost businesses in the United Kingdom £12.6bn in lost productivity.
The Health & Safety Executive found that work-related stress, depression, or anxiety accounted for 50% of all work-related ill health cases in 2020/21.
And a recent study by the Stress Management Society found that 65%of people felt more stressed since the Covid 19 restrictions came into force in March 2020.
Stress and worry can really take their toll on anyone’s mental and physical health and can affect everyone and anybody. The impact on workplaces in terms of lost productivity and increased absences can be enormous.
Therefore it is so important to put well-being at the center of the workplace so that everyone can get the support they need, and the work environment becomes a more supportive and nurturing place.
Managing Stress in the Workplace
Promoting and supporting employee wellbeing should be at the heart of any business or organisation and managers really need to take the lead to make a more effective and supportive workplace.
Healthy workplaces really nurture people towards fulfilling their potential and help promote a state of security and happiness within any business so that both individuals and the business can achieve their goals. By investing in employee well-being individuals develop increased resilience, they engage more wholeheartedly with their organisation and there is usually reduced sickness absence and higher performance and productivity as a direct result.
However, all too often well-being initiatives remain separate from everyday business goals and objectives and operate in isolation. As a result, they can often be given less priority and attention and become less effective. To gain real and lasting benefit, it is important that employee well-being priorities are integrated throughout an organisation, embedded in its culture, leadership, and people management.
Managers can really be effective when driving forward this agenda forward by making it a priority by making sure they feel confident and capable to support their team’s wellbeing in the workplace.
Developing a Wellness Action Plan
A terrific way to start developing the tools to help guide your team towards starting to think and develop their own plans for well-being is to start developing their own Wellness Action Plans. The Wellness Action Plan, inspired by Mary Ellen Copeland’s Wellness Recovery Action Plan® (WRAP®): is an evidence-based system used worldwide by people to manage their mental health.
Wellness Action Plans can be created by anyone to help guide them towards the sort of working environment that will support and nurture their well-being at work – whether you suffer from a mental health problem or not.
It can be used by individuals to record how they feel and then share this with their managers to start a dialogue about how their mental health and wellbeing can be supported at work.
Wellness Action Plans should include the following areas:
- Any workplace triggers poor mental health.
- Approaches to follow to support mental health in the workplace.
- Any early warning signs of poor mental health that your manager should be aware of.
- What approaches can be developed to support mental health in the workplace?
- What is the potential impact poor mental health might make on your performance?
- What support you may need from your manager to support you if you feel stressed at work.
- Actions your manager or colleagues can take to support your mental health in the workplace
- How often will your Wellness Action Plan will be reviewed, and actions recorded and actioned.
MIND produce an excellent guide on how to produce your own Wellness Action Plan to get the ball rolling and to help anyone to start thinking about what can enhance and support their wellbeing at work.
You can find additional resources aimed at supporting different work settings on the MIND website so you create your own individualised Wellness Action Plan.
At Aim Higher Training we believe that wellbeing is at the heart of every happy, healthy, and successful business and organisation. We offer short courses in Stress Awareness and Mental Health Awareness and we can support your organisation develop a healthy and happier working environment and support the well-being of all your employees.
Understand more about the Signs and Causes of Stress by reading one of our latest blog posts.