Stress is a silent killer in business, which is why leaders should engage with stress management courses as well as any other training they may be taking. Creating a workplace culture and environment that minimises stress levels and implements policies to promote employee wellbeing shows employees you care about more than just your organisation’s bottom line.

In this post, you’ll learn about why it’s important to discuss stress in the workplace; the effects of stress in the workplace; and why enrolling in a good stress management course could benefit your company. We’ll also provide some insight into our Strategic Wellbeing and Resilience course, which will help you to look out for your employees’ wellbeing while you steer the ship in the right direction. 

Why we need to talk about stress in the workplace

In November 2020, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published statistics for 2019/20 from the Labour Force Survey, a quarterly national survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

The stats revealed that cases of stress, anxiety, and depression in the workplace have been on the rise for the last few years. The total number of cases reported for the 2019/20 period was 820 000; 347 000 of these cases were new. In previous surveys, workers have cited a lack of managerial support, tight deadlines, and too much responsibility amongst other causes. 

Stress can overwhelm people so powerfully they become unable to cope and, as a result, they may engage in harmful behaviours. Unfortunately, our natural human impulse is to conceal negative feelings at work, which is why companies must have business-wide conversations about stress and protect their most valuable resources: their people. 

Open, understanding environments can help employees to find suitable ways to cope with mental health problems. Mental health issues can damage their performance, whereas an open culture that supports employees can allow them to address their mental health problems and still perform effectively. 

Effects of stress in the workplace

Stress in the workplace can lead to various problems for a business, including: 

  • employee absenteeism or poor punctuality — according to the Labour Force Survey, issues of stress, anxiety, and depression lost the economy 17.9 million working days;
  • lower productivity levels and performance —stress can trigger behavioural, emotional, and health problems, which can result in poorer performance at work;
  • presenteeism — this practice of staying longer at work than necessary can lead to disengagement: disengaged employees can have a damaging effect on productivity; 
  • high turnover — employees can become so physically or psychologically unwell they leave the company. This creates administrative costs because the business must address the HR issues around the employee’s departure, including hiring a replacement. 

Importance of stress management courses 

These effects highlight the importance for business leaders to seek out stress management training. A good stress management course can help them implement policies that support employees who are struggling with their mental health. It will also benefit the business in the following ways:

Less absenteeism

Stress can weaken the immune system and make people physically ill, causing them to take sick days. By learning about stress management in the workplace, you can stop your employees from feeling so physically or psychologically ill they phone in sick. 

Better retention

Creating a low-stress environment shows your employees you care; and when a business cares about employees, they feel less like walking away from it. By working to create a more relaxed environment, you give yourself a better chance of holding onto your top talents. 

Remember, too, that prospective employees may be checking reviews before applying to work for you. If employees — past or present— are leaving anonymous reviews stating that you couldn’t care less about the people who work for your company, potential employees will look elsewhere.

Better morale and company culture

An environment in which employees experience manageable levels of stress will strengthen the company culture. People will feel happier in their jobs and more motivated to do their best. They’ll work hard(er), and the relationships with managers, and within teams, will improve.

Better quality of work

Stress can trigger fatigue, withdrawal, and changes in personality, all of which can affect the quality of an employee’s work. They may make mistakes or even cut corners, which could prove costly.

Stress management training with In Professional Development

We understand the damage that workplace stress can inflict on a business. We also appreciate the pressure leaders are under to manage the company while still looking out for their employees. 

On our Strategic Wellbeing and Resilience Programme, we teach you about stress, resilience, and how people react to workplace change and stress. You’ll analyse your own company’s culture regarding workplace wellbeing and learn different tools and strategies to incorporate wellbeing policies into it. You’ll also learn skills to coach and support colleagues during workplace change or when they’re experiencing workplace stress. 

If you’d like more information on this course or any of our other courses, feel free to get in touch with us. You can reach us at enquiries@inpd.co.uk, fill in the form on our Contact Page, or call us on 0161 509 2999. We’re here to support you on your professional development journey.

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