Helping employers create a mentally healthy working environment

Helping employers create a mentally healthy working environment

Most people will experience stress at some point in their life, and research indicates that one in four of us will, but constant or extreme stress is bad for both the mind and body. Stress can be caused by a sudden traumatic event or even just the expectations of daily life. Work is often a common cause so employers need to know how to maintain a healthy workplace, how to spot the signs of stress, and what to do if when it is identified.

If left unchecked, stress can be deadly – in fact, stress is often referred to as the “silent killer” because although its effects are not immediately apparent, it can lead to a number of serious health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease. This is why April is designated Stress Awareness Month – it informs people about stress and provides them with the tools and resources to manage it.

Why should employers try to reduce the causes of stress at work?

Firstly, reducing work-related stress can be hugely beneficial to an employer:

  • Making staff healthier and happier at work
  • Improving performance and making staff more productive
  • Reducing absence levels
  • Reducing workplace disputes
  • Making the organisation more attractive to job seekers

Secondly, an employer has a legal obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees. As part of this, an employer must conduct risk assessments for work-related stress and take actions to prevent staff from experiencing a stress-related illness because of their work.

Employers should not be daunted because they can take steps to reduce work-related stress. They can also learn how to spot when a colleague may be experiencing stress, how to talk to them appropriately, how to support them and how to monitor the situation. We are running our highly regarded Managing Stress and Mental Health in the Workplace training on 1 May. For more details, email duncan.degruchy@lawatworkci.com or click here for more information.

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