Next week is National Work Life Week and it seemed timely to look at the issue of stress in the workplace and what you can do to tackle it.
Mental health problems, particularly stress, are common in today’s workplaces – costing employers around £2.4 billion pounds each year in lost working days. By understanding the causes of stress and supporting yourself and your employees effectively you can avoid sickness leave and can help workers become more loyal and motivated in the long run.
There have been calls recently to install mental health first aiders into businesses to tackle these issues. This is a fantastic idea but it’s not something that most SME businesses could reasonably do; in fact the leaders of many companies sometimes struggle to look after their own stress levels as well as their team’s.
We’ve recently been working with several clients in SME companies facing high stress levels and we always encourage them to try and resolve the issues quickly but smoothly.
Research shows that problems can stem from time management challenges, relationships between employees and their managers or work/life balance problems. It can also relate to the company’s general culture and working environment. As well as the financial risk to the business, some aspects of mental health may be classed as a disability under the Equality Act and companies have a legal obligation to tackle them. Advice from our partners Reality HR is for companies to “Develop a mental health policy that reassures employees about their wellbeing. Create a culture of openness and encourage people to talk about their mental health, which will encourage your employees to feel confident to talk about their own mental health.”
Here at Elephants Child we can give you a sounding board for your business, offer an outside, independent view of any issues, help you to focus and prioritise your workload and allow you reflect on the culture and environment of your company. We can support you to take a step back and look at your challenges – and strategically plan how to tackle them and grow together.
We also have a new SME Peer to Peer programme which looks at how you can not only work with us on one to one coaching but also like minded leaders who also have challenges in their business that are keeping them awake at night. If you want to hear more then please contact Natalie Brewer on 07817 524 670.