Can you spot the signs of stress in your employees?

If you have a close-knit and small group of employees, it might be easier for you to know when they are feeling the pressure, however, if you head up a larger team, the signs might not be so easy to see. Over 2016/17 more than half a million people reported symptoms of work-related anxiety, depression, and stress to the HSE. This means that work-related mental health problems have become a very real issue for occupational health teams.

Identifying high-stress levels

Stressful situations can arise in the most ordered of offices and when you least expect it, but when mental or emotional health problems appear, it can have a far-reaching and more profound effect on your workforce than at first glance.

Stress is not an inevitable and unavoidable part of work management, and nor should it be an accepted as the norm by your employees. There are many ways of mitigating the effects of stress on your staff mental health and identifying anxiety and flash-points are an important starting point.

How can I improve stress levels for my employees?

Some of the main symptoms to look out for are headaches, anxiety, fast heart rate, changes in appetite, lack of concentration, the list goes on. But to see the symptoms in others may be harder. Regular checks on productivity can give you an overview of those who may be struggling, but the only reliable way of identifying anxiety in your workforce is to improve your relationship with them. Staff who feel able to talk to their manager about their mental health and work issues are generally happier overall.

A few suggestions:

Hold regular appraisal meetings – discuss how they feel about their work and how you can help them do it better.
Ensure that they don’t work too much overtime; quality time away from work is one of the most important areas which is regularly neglected.
Give back a little. Allowing your workers to go home a bit earlier sometimes, take a break and remember that they are human and have a life outside of work.

There are some great ways to reduce the symptoms of stress in your workforce, teaching relaxation techniques, removing obvious sources of stress, and giving your staff the incentive to improve their productivity are good starts.

What next?

Metrostress offers many different packages which are all aimed at reducing stress and promoting wellbeing and can be used to reward or incentivise your employees. Have a look at our services page to find inspiration. Alternatively, give us a call to see how we can help.

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