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Managing Stress in the Workplace: A Guide for Employers

It's no secret that stress is one of the biggest causes of health-related issues in the workplace. 

Almost six in 10 employees (59%) feel stressed because of their work, with those in finance, Government and healthcare under the most strain.

There are many factors that determine stress in the workplace. According to CIPHR 2021, based on a survey of 1,590 UK adult employees, 18% say their workload causes them stress, work hours are a stress factor at 14% and one in ten UK adults say their manager causes them stress.

These results show how important it is that individuals and employers are fully aware of what causes stress and how to tackle it.

An employers guide to managing stress in the workplace

So, What is Stress?

Stress is defined by the HSE as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’. Studies reveal that circa 0.5 million workers suffer from work-related stress, anxiety and depression, which means 12.5 million working days lost.

What Causes Stress?

Stress can be caused by many reasons, such as:

  • The demands of the job
  • The control an employee has over their work 
  • The support they receive from managers and colleagues
  • Relationships in the workplace
  • The employee's role in the organisation
  • Organisational change and how it's managed

With all of this in mind, we have put together a few tips for managers to help tackle employee stress in the workplace.

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5 Tips for Managing Employee Stress in the Workplace

1. Encourage breaks

Studies show that individuals are more productive when taking short breaks every 90 minutes. Some companies now offer facilities that encourage this attitude at work. Some examples of this, are resting rooms, where employees can take short naps during working hours, and gyms allowing employees to work out during work.

Learn 5 other things that promise to keep employees happy and productive

2. Encourage Team Building  

Creating a good environment within your team and building strong relationships will encourage an open dialogue, as well as trust. Create team-building activities, as well as bonding time after work.

3. Make sure employees feel valued

Managers should have open lines of communication with staff. To ensure you have effective communication with all your employees, implement clear SMART goals for communication in your organisation. Don't forget to track their success! Learn more about communication SMART goals here

4. Listen

It may seem simple but listening to your employees is a big step when dealing with problems in the workplace. You should keep an open mind to their concerns and help them find a solution. If employees know they can be honest and you will listen compassionately, stress should become less of an issue.

Show you're really listening with active listening. Learn about active listening, how to use it and its benefits here

5. Tackle absences

Make the time to find out what causes work absences in your team or department. Suggest appropriate health services to show you are listening and that you're invested in their health improvement. 

Continue Learning with our Training Courses

Whether you want to better support your staff's mental health, develop a stronger leadership style or build a high-performing team, we've got a range of leadership & management courses just for you. See the upcoming list and find out what you could learn

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