• Kent HR supports National Stress Awareness Month 2019

    Published: April 11 2019

    National Stress Awareness Month has been held every April, since 1992. During this annual thirty day period, health care professionals and health promotion experts across the country will join forces to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic. Our HR consultants in Maidstone are supporting National Stress Awareness Month 2019 this April and are on hand to provide HR support to help businesses with wellbeing initiatives.

    Health and well-being at work survey report

    Nearly two-fifths of UK businesses (37%) have seen an increase in stress-related absence over the last year, with heavy workloads and poor management style to blame, according to a new annual Health and Well-Being at Work Survey Report from the CIPD.

    The research shows that stress is a growing problem in UK workplaces. Respondents say having heavy workloads (62%), which can be attributed to poor management, is the top cause of stress-related absence. The second biggest contributing factor is management style which has risen from 32% to 43% in the last year.

    Evidence of more unhealthy trends in the workplace linked to stress and poor mental health include:

    ‘Presenteeism’ – going to work when ill. More than four-fifths (83%) of respondents have observed this in their organisation and a quarter (25%) say the problem has got worse since the previous year.

    ‘Leaveism’ – using holiday leave to work. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents have observed this in their organisation. More than half (55%) say their organisation hasn’t taken any steps to address the issue.

    If you are experiencing issues with stress-related absence or poor well-being of employees, we can offer HR support for businesses to address the underlying causes and put policies and processes in place to support staff and managers.

    Managing Work Related Stress

    None of this is good news for you or the people you manage.

    These disturbing results undermine the fact that the survey records the lowest number of average sick days (5.9 per employee per year) in the 19-year history of the report.

    The report reveals that many managers aren’t receiving the training they need to spot and help manage these issues among their staff:

    There are a number of unhealthy practices that you can identify in the workplace that could be the cause of stress and are worth looking out for:

    • People frequently working long hours
    • Work emails commonly answered outside of work hours or whilst on annual leave
    • People don’t tend to take leave when unwell
    • People not taking lunch breaks

    Employers increasingly expect managers to take responsibility for their team’s health and well-being. But are you able to provide the space and support that your managers need?

    Kent HR consultants are experienced in supporting managers with dealing with work-related stress and offer HR advice for businesses suffering from staff absence.

    What difference can a busy manager make?

    Line managers have a significant impact on the number of good days people have at work. Often, just a few small changes to your management style can make a big difference to people’s well-being.

    Considering these four simple steps will pay dividends in the long run – teams that are happy, healthy and engaged in their work are more likely to meet their goals and help you to meet yours.

    1. Get to know your team better
    2. Lead by example to promote healthy working habits
    3. Review job design and workloads
    4. Assess your management style

    Find out how effective you are at preventing and reducing stress in your staff with The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Stress Management Competency Indicator Tool.

    The worrying increase in management style as a key cause of workplace stress highlights the need for businesses to invest properly in management training, as well as wider well-being initiatives. KentHR can support you to do this.

    Further information

    Kent HR provides a range of support for HR managers dealing with work-related stress. To find out more, please complete the enquiry form below or contact us to discuss your requirements.

    Information taken from CIPD and the Mental Health Foundation.

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