Dealing with workplace stress this New Year 

According to recent figures, workplace stress will be one of the most significant issues facing managers and employers in 2017. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development have revealed that stress accounts for 35% of all work related ill health cases, now making it the most common cause of long-term sickness.


So what can be done by employers to combat the rise of stress in the workplace? Here at First Call HR we have come up with a few key questions that every manager should be asking themselves.


What are the major stress factors in your workplace? Identify the key factors that can contribute to stress in the workplace, with major offenders being workload, colleague relationships and lack of job control. If you are aware of what could be causing workplace stress you are in a better position to think about what measures can be taken to combat them.


Have you considered an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)? Employees may be dealing with personal problems, entirely unrelated to the job, which are having an adverse effect on their health and well-being, and therefore impacting upon their work performance.  An EAP is offered by many companies to ensure employees have access to psychological health support. This can include initial assessment, round the clock telephone support, face-to-face counselling sessions and referral services.  


Are all your line managers adequately trained? As the first port of call for your employees line managers need to be equipped to respond and deal with the first signs of stress. Make sure they have had the right training to deal with difficult conversations with employees, particularly around the issues of bullying, workload and performance management.


Are you effectively managing sickness absence? Return to work discussions after a period of sickness absence are crucial. Early intervention is the key to successful absence management and a prompt, honest discussion between you and your employees can be extremely effective at solving issues and preventing further absence.


If you are worried about how to manage workplace stress this New Year get in touch with First Call HR. The team can offer advice on all aspects of employment relations which include effective absence management and bespoke performance management training.