What managers may not fully grasp is that the health and wealth of their company is in their hands.
It is not good news to hear the CIPD’s latest research, which shows that stress is the number one cause of long-term sickness absence in the UK. All job sectors showed an increase, with over 50% of the public sector reporting an increase in stress-related absence over the last 12 months.
140 million working days per year are lost to sickness absence which costs £100 billion to the UK economy. Additionally 300,000 people exit the workforce annually due to ill health, adding further costs in benefits and loss of tax revenue.
So as a Manager how can you ensure that you are not part of these statistics?
The business case for addressing stress and presenteeism at work has multiple elements on economic, legal, financial and moral grounds.
There is a growing empirical base which supports the notion that good worker health and resilience is closely related to increased productivity and innovation. .
Managers use the Health and Safety guidance for ensuring that working environments are becoming safer on a physical level, however this does not appear to be the case for psychological or stress issues which is also included in a managers duty of care to their employees.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) sets out 6 standards that Managers must focus on to identify the stress risks to their staff:
Demands – are workloads and work environment manageable?
Control – how much control and say do workers have over how they do their work?
Relationships – what is the quality of relationships? Is there bullying and harassment? How cohesive are teams?
Role– are roles clearly set out, or is there role conflict and ambiguity?
Support- what is the extent and quality of support from managers and colleagues?
Change– how well is change managed and communicated?
The Black Report (2008) emphasises the correlation between good management and workers health and productivity. The HSE also draws attention to the link between management behaviour and team stress through their Managers’ Competency Indicators.
Sometimes managers are selected for their technical and practical skills instead of their ability to manage people. By developing manager people skills, good communication, better engaged employees and strong teams are facilitated.
Overwhelming evidence supports that healthy and happy workers are more productive.
Are you meeting the 6 standards required for this? Or
Is the wealth of your organisation slipping through your fingers?
Hansa Pankhania is Director of AUM Consultancy and a Fellow of the International Stress Management Association. AUM Consultancy are specialists and committed to supporting managers in meeting their legal duty of care towards their employees and hence enhancing the health and wealth of their organisation.
Also more in Hansa’s book ‘from Stress to Success’ at www.hansapbooks.com