Each April marks Stress Awareness Month, a time to reflect on what is causing us stress and think about new ways of combatting it.
Strategically balancing work, family life, social life, and other responsibilities, can be draining and stress-inducing at the best of times. Introduce the uncertainty of the pandemic and increasing living costs, and it’s likely that your employees have been feeling even more anxiety than usual recently. According to HSE, stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 50% of all work-related ill health cases in 2020 and 2021.
Statistics like this can make it feel daunting to face stress and burnout head-on, but there are plenty of easy steps you can take to ensure your workplace is a stress-free environment.
How to recognise stress in your employees?
Alleviating burnout is about being proactive rather than reactive. In other words, learning how to recognise stress a mile off and stopping it in its tracks.
One major challenge when it comes to spotting signs of stress in your employees is the fact that everyone handles stress differently. While some employees might seem composed on the surface, anxiety could be hiding underneath.
Because of this, regular check-ins and open communication are essential for identifying and combatting stress. As well as this, look out for any tell-tale signs, such as high absence rates, lack of concentration, and other uncharacteristic behaviours.
Whether you’ve already identified signs of stress, or you want to make some changes to your workplace before your employees start feeling burnt-out, there are plenty of actions you can take.
Recalibrate your work-life balance
Striking a happy work-life balance is one important way to reduce stress. When employees feel like their work has become overwhelming and all-encompassing, it’s likely that they will be headed towards burn-out. So, be sure to reinforce the fact that your company cares about their wellbeing both in and out of work.
One way to do this is by introducing an employee rewards scheme that focuses on perks both outside of work and in the office. As well as fun activities and gifts, it is also a great idea to incorporate life tools into your reward scheme, such as mentoring, mindset counselling, nutrition coaching, and other experiences available within our Life and Balance collection.
As well as this, practicing flexibility when it comes to how your employees carry out their jobs is another great way to get everyone’s work-life balance back in check. Working remotely might make some people’s workload a lot less stressful and switching to a four-day week is sure to introduce a greater sense of balance into the workplace.
Practice open communication
In addition to focussing on work-life balance, always be sure to listen to your employees' needs and practice open communication. They are the ones best positioned to advise on combatting stress in their workplace.
Regular check-ins are essential, and a great way to find out what needs to be changed and adapted in your company.
Access to mentoring and therapy
There may well be challenges that your employees are facing that they don’t want to share with others in the company. Therefore, access to external professionals in wellbeing and stress management could be massively beneficial.
Not only will this help to alleviate their stress and improve their mental health, but it will indicate that you see them, you’re listening to them, and you’re there for them.
Amplifying the message of workplace burnout during Stress Awareness Week is the first step toward creating a more positive environment for your staff the thrive in. For more inspiration, explore our corporate Life and Balance collection and start making some impactful changes.