National Stress Awareness Day!
The first Wednesday in November each year is National Stress Awareness Day. We all know what it’s like to feel stressed – being under pressure is a normal part of life. But becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse.
Stress is defined as the ‘adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’. Most staff benefit from a certain amount of pressure in their work. It can keep them motivated and give a sense of ambition. However, when there is too much pressure placed on them, they can become overloaded. Stress can affect the health of staff, reduce their productivity and lead to performance issues.
It is therefore important that an employer takes steps to tackle the work-related causes of stress in its organisation and encourages staff to seek help at the earliest opportunity if they begin to experience stress.
- What is stress?
- What causes stress?
- Why should employers try to reduce the causes of stress at work?
- Taking steps to reduce work-related stress
- Spotting when staff may be experiencing stress
- Talking to a team member who may be experiencing stress
- Supporting a team member experiencing stress
- Monitoring the situation
Reducing work-related stress can be hugely beneficial to an employer:
- Making staff healthier and happier at work
- Improving performance and making staff more productive
- Reducing absence levels
- Reducing workplace disputes
- Making the organisation more attractive to job seekers
An employer has a legal obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees. As part of this, an employer must conduct risk assessments for work-related stress and take actions to prevent staff from experiencing a stress-related illness because of their work.