October 19th-25th is the European Week of Health and Safety. This year the week is focused around raising awareness of the importance of managing stress and psychosocial risks at work.
Workplace stress can have detrimental effects on employees, both mentally and emotionally. This can lead to a higher rate of absenteeism, low productivity, mistakes and injuries and other long-term mental illnesses such as depression.
The increased rate in absenteeism and drop in productivity creates expenses for a business. The NHS has suggested that the cost of stress-related absenteeism is approximately £425 million a year.
Stress and mental illness have been revealed as the biggest reason for absenteeism in the UK, with 70 million days lost at work each year.
It is extremely important for a business to recognise what is causing their employees to experience stressful situations and how to overcome and prevent these causes.
Effective Stress Management programmes bring the following benefits:
Reduce sickness absence costs by up to 20%
Improve staff retention
Increase motivation and higher performance
Enhance reputation as an employer of choice
Business cost resulting from lost productivity will also be reduced
The Stress Management Society provides different forms of tailored intervention to help businesses and organisations. It runs diagnostics such as a Business Stress Risk Review (BSRR) and customised workshops directed at employee and managerial levels.
The process of a BSRR will help identify the causes of stress, which can be addressed before they become costly for the employer. Taking action is an important part of the process and can minimise the risk of long-term stress related illness, high staff turnover and other serious consequences of stress.
The Society claims that risk assessment is a statutory obligation under Health and Safety law and that stress should be seen in the same way as any other health and safety risk hazard.
Picture: What are you going to do for European Health Week? Issuing Stress Cards (as the Sky TV network has done) might be an idea.
Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 16 October 2015