Is Work Related Stress Taking a Stronger Hold?
HSE’s ‘Helping Great Britain Work Well’ campaign has made the headlines this year and not in a good way, as the latest HSE stats show that work related stress is on the increase. Over 595,000 UK employees in 2017/18 reporting feeling stressed, anxious or depressed as a result of the stresses placed upon them in the workplace. This figure is spread across all sectors, with public services reporting the highest figure.
The strategic themes of the Helping Great Britain Work Well campaign focus around 6 core areas; these are:
- Acting Together
- Tackling Ill Health
- Managing Risk Well
- Supporting Small Employers
- Keeping Pace with Change
- Sharing our Success
These were introduced in 2016 (although this campaign has actually been running since 2004) with the view to encouraging nationwide engagement, but so far, the statistics show otherwise, with workplace stress being one of the top health priorities that needs to be addressed. This comes under the “Tackling Ill Health” area, although can also be touched on in the other areas such as Supporting Small Employers and Acting Together.
Addressing Workplace Stress
Organisations must have baseline procedures in place to support employees, including risk assessments, management processes and support systems for those who are suffering. These are legal standards, and whilst many businesses may find it difficult to ensure all the bases are covered, it’s clear that more effort needs to be made to both promote mental wellbeing in the workplace and foster change.
There are a number of ways that a business can support employees, regardless of size or number of people on the books. As well as ensuring all the legal boxes are ticked, there are courses available that encourage stress awareness and stress management. These give candidates the tools to manage work pressures and responsibilities, allowing them to then sit other, related courses such as time management and effective delegation, which will then work in conjunction to running a cohesive workforce who can manage their workload and identify when issues are becoming untenable.
Stress Awareness & Wellbeing Courses
Tackling workplace stress at the source is the first step to finding a solution and easing the strain on employees. Stress awareness courses in particular provide a good foundation on which to build further training, as people may not even be aware that they are feeling under pressure until it becomes a bigger problem. Once an employee has completed this, they can then move onto stress management, which will then give them the tools to manage their workplace stresses and highlight any areas they feel need additional input or more support.
It is not always easy for employees or businesses to find the time for candidates to attend courses outside the workplace, so looking at e-learning courses may be a more viable option. E-learning courses are great for those who struggle to find the time to attend or cannot make the journey easily and can be done in the comfort of the workplace or office with less time taken out of paid working hours to complete the course hours.
Once stress awareness and management courses have been completed, then it’s a good option to look at supporting courses in the wider area, such as time management, effective delegation or mindfulness and wellbeing workshops. Having a delegated person who leads wellbeing at work or metal health in the workplace is also a good idea (a specific Mental Health Champion Training course exists for this exact purpose).
Mental Health Courses
There are a wide range of mental health courses available that cover all industries so be sure to research into the best one(s) for your organisation and staff; having someone who has no need to delegate do an effective delegation course, for example, is not going to be as worthwhile as having them undertake a course on successful time management. Once you know which courses exist and who needs to take them, you can start to roll this out across all areas and employees.
For further help and advice on mental health and wellbeing courses in the workplace and how we can help, please visit our website or call our customer services team who will be happy to help.