It’s the case that for many businesses across all sectors that stress is a risk that is generally not well managed. Why is it that many businesses choose to ignore the impacts that stress related illnesses can have on their staff and ultimately the profitability of the business?
It seems that for many talking about stress holds a taboo and is therefore not a subject that is easily discussed. Yet evidence suggests that the more open a business is to discuss stress the more effectively it can be managed. Certainly working with a number of businesses we have seen a sense rates and days lost reduced dramatically when effectively managed.
To achieve this the starting point needs to be with line managers; who often themselves may feel under immense pressure and may even be suffering with stress. We believe that unless managers are trained to identify potential cases of stress and are supported by effective management systems the problems go undetected until it’s too late. As one HR director reported to us if the issue was not properly managed at an early stage then cases can quickly spiral into long term absences and even employees not returning to work.
Just think how much effort goes into recruiting, training and developing employees and yet a failure to consider the possible impacts of stress can mean losing someone.
Did you know recent research suggest that if individuals can vocalise their concerns and problems that a natural hormone is produced that helps to combat stress! Clearly setting up support mechanisms requires some planning and could be seen as an unnecessary cost; that is if you ignore the greater costs of the consequences.
But all of this won’t make a real difference unless managers are properly trained in stress awareness and stress management. Perhaps it’s something your business should have in its 2015 training plan!