The number of work-related stress, depression, or anxiety cases in the UK in 2020-2021 was 822,000, a rate of 2,480 per 100,000 workers. HSE also reports that workplace stress costs the UK economy more than five billion pounds annually. Employers should be aware of this and actively try to reduce stress in the workplace [source].
Occupational health aims to keep individuals well at work, and part of keeping employees well means taking clear and positive steps to reduce stress levels. Organisations will enjoy the benefits that come with this, too – such as improved engagement levels, better productivity and performance, less conflict in the workplace and a happier, healthier workplace.
Here are some ways organisations can help reduce stress in the workplace.
Create a Well-being Policy
A well-being policy includes ensuring employees have safe, ergonomic workstations to support good posture and a healthy work environment. In addition, ensuring employees are encouraged to take regular breaks, offering discounted gym memberships, and more can make a huge difference in employees’ lives.
Organisations should normalise employees not having to work outside of their regular working hours. Employers should not expect employees to respond to emails or phone calls when they’re not at work, including whilst employees are on holiday.
Ensure Effective Communication
Lack of good communication in a workplace can make employees feel uncertain, leading to anxiety and stress. Ensure there is effective communication throughout the business to avoid this.
Managers should keep employees up to date with their expectations and their view of performance. Remember that communication is a two-way street; the more managers communicate effectively with employees, the more employees will feel able to share concerns, ideas, and feedback, thus creating a stronger and healthier company culture.
Lead by Example
Those at the top define company culture, so setting a good example will demonstrate company expectations to employees. Managers should lead by example, such as taking breaks during the day and not answering emails outside working hours.
Recognise Employee or Team Success
When an individual employee or team works hard and achieves success, the organisation should recognise this. Recognition could be as simple as a ‘thank you’ from their leader or a shout-out in a company-wide email. People want to feel valued at work, so showing them they are can make a huge difference.
As an occupational health provider, our services cover far more than routine referrals and health surveillance. We’re also here to help you support your employees in taking care of themselves, offering workshops focused on employee health.
We offer workshops and clinics with our OHAs and OHPs, such as:
- Stress workshops
- Blood pressure clinics
- Healthy living workshops
If you have an idea for a workshop or area of particular focus you believe would benefit your employees, contact us to discuss booking a clinic dedicated to this.
Give us a call on 029 2076 1550 to speak to a team member to see how we can assist you to reduce stress in the workplace, or email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org, and someone will be in touch soon as possible.