According to the latest figures from the Labour Force Survey, 428,000 people in the UK suffered from stress in 2011-12, accounting for 40% of all work-related illnesses. As so many employees experience stress, it is vital that employers have a strategy for preventing workplace anxiety and pressure and that employees receive the support they require should they experience stress in the workplace.
Stress prevention measures for employers
Employers are responsible for ensuring that workers are not overburdened or expected to take on more than they can cope with. It’s important that managers are prepared to promote health in the workplace by:
- Training managers so that they are aware of the signs of workplace stress and know how to react if employees become stressed
- Putting policies and risk assessments in place so that managers know the protocol to follow should a stress-related situation arise
- Committing resources to combatting workplace stress and ensuring that staff members know where to turn if they feel under pressure
Stress management for employees
Pressure in the workplace often builds without employees realising. It is important that staff members are able to recognise the signs of stress and know who to turn to if they feel under pressure. The symptoms include tiredness, indigestion and nausea, headaches, aching muscles, palpitations, finding it difficult to concentrate, low self-esteem, irritability, anxiety and listlessness. If these start to manifest, employees should feel confident about:
- Speaking to a manager who has been trained to deal with work-related stress
- Contacting HR if there is a specific enquiry about reducing stress levels
- Visiting a GP or occupational health advisor if stress levels rise
Health in the workplace should be a priority for employers and employees alike in a bid to prevent sickness and long-term absence from work. Occupational health provider Medigold helps businesses to recognise the signs of stress and to help employees and employers reduce pressure in the workplace.
Contact Medigold to find out more about its stress-related strategies.