Improve Employee Mental Health

The biggest challenge facing UK employers

April is Stress Awareness Month – a global initiative held since 1992 – yet it’s hard to shake the feeling that stress awareness needs to be a year-round activity. Stress is often talked about as casually as the weather, even celebrated as if “being stressed” is a mark of achievement and abundance of work, but the real consequences are far more severe for people who are suffering and dire on workplace productivity.

It’s an unavoidable physical, and emotional response triggered when something you care about is at stake. Fear of underperformance, missing a deadline, or meeting someone’s expectations, are present in everyone’s lives every day, meaning stress cannot be eliminated. Unfortunately, though, high absenteeism, staff turnover, poor morale and productivity, are symptoms of a stressed workforce.

The last 24 months have only exasperated this, in fact, since 2020, our health services have been overwhelmed by people who are struggling and seeking support and speaking up is becoming more common – at least in some organisations.

We think you will find our guide helpful, created for organisations like you who really want to support, improve and promote employee health and wellbeing. Free on our resources hub here.

Safety in Communities

One of the main stressors modern humans face is the feeling of loneliness. And although many of the restrictions have now been lifted, people need support now more than ever.

Disrupted social lives, months of isolation, limited human interaction, and consequences of the pandemic are present all around us. We used to go out with friends and family, play some sport, or break away to the countryside [or another country] for a few days to escape, but the pandemic and work kept us at home, destabilising many people’s sense of community.

“Community” is not just a group of people. It is a sense of belonging and connection at home and work, and it’s critical for good health and wellbeing. Research has shown that those with good social relations and healthy supportive relationships live longer are more productive and motivated, which are the attributes workplaces should be looking for.

This is why Community is the Stress Management Society’s theme for Stress Awareness Month 2022. Whether it is socialising with others, volunteering or even engaging in physical activity, organisations should be encouraging staff to do more of what makes them happy and connect with their work, home and social communities again.

These are some other activities that you can engage in or encourage within your organisation for Stress Awareness Month:

Start By Listening

As an organisation, practice what you preach and encourage listening and speaking up. Two-way dialogue has the power to create a connection that many of us dearly need outside of Teams and Zoom meetings.

If you are feeling challenged in any of these areas, reach out to us. We can advise solutions to help you manage the most significant HR challenges in your organisation.

To assist you with your preparations for Stress Awareness Month 2022 and beyond, the Stress Management Society has created many valuable resources.
A safe and secure way for your people to anonymously raise concerns via phone, tablet, or PC, ensuring you are aware of any workplace issues and can respond quickly and accordingly
A secure online place to record, track, update, and report on all speaking up matters, whether raised through WorkInConfidence or directly.
Easily set up, run and interpret surveys on engagement, respect, wellness or other topics to ensure you always understand your people, their needs and motivations.
Demonstrate your commitment to collaboration with discussion boards to accelerate employee engagement and gain greater insights – anonymous if required.

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