According to a recent study*, workplace stress costs UK businesses over £28 billion a year. Yet, many managers feel they cannot sufficiently support individual cases of workplace stress. In general, businesses understand well-being and workplace performance are linked but lack the psychological insights to create lasting change. Yet, improving workplaces leads to better business, customer, and employee outcomes. Revenue potential increases for those stress-aware employers.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) define stress as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them.” This could be down to individual, workplace, or societal factors. For example, work has altered due to a period of rapid change. Technological changes, longer working lives, rising dual-career couples, precarious contracts and global competition all destabilise former preconceptions about work. These can be sources of stress.

Sources of stress vary in how controllable they are. It is important, however, for employers to mitigate workplace risks wherever possible. Employers can do this by recognising and managing every risk to individual and team psychological health in the same way they would remove physical hazards. To get started, managers can look out for tell-tale signs.

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