Is the wealth of your organisation slipping through your fingers?
As a manager, you will be the first port of call for a distressed member of staff, but are you comfortable to initiate those all-important discussions around the delicate topic of mental wellbeing?
In your role as a manager, you do not just delegate the work functions in a business. Whether you prefer it or not, you are also the figurehead of your team. You are both an influencer and a catalyst. Senior leaders and line managers play distinct and crucial roles in creating a healthy workplace, which inevitably means attending to stress management.
Your organisation will get the best from its investments in both capital and commitment when your whole team are aligned to the corporate objectives of embarking upon a journey of wellbeing for the organisation, both for the management and for the workforce.
Uncontrolled stress in managers and workers can seriously damage all of the corporate objectives.
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 revenues. (CIPD – Health and Wellbeing at Work – March 2020).
How you can avoid being part of these statistics.
This article will guide you in the right direction to ensure you are not part of these statistics.
As senior leaders and line managers, you play a distinct and crucial role in creating a healthy workplace by taking a proactive approach, creating the right climate to encourage open discussion about stress and forge pathways for working in partnership with your team.
Your organisations’ wellbeing framework needs to assess the main risks to people’s health, have robust support measures and solutions, as well as focus on prevention. In addition, every employer should be mindful of its statutory duty of care for their employees’ health, safety and welfare.
The statistics for the increase in stress levels in the workplace are alarming, especially when the solution is there in simple cost-effective measures.
What you can do
Here is a summary of how you can avoid being part of these statistics, where valuable resources, both physical and in personnel, are compromised causing huge monetary losses and personal suffering. You can turn the tide and make considerable savings as well as enhance the reputation of your organisation through the following process.
As a line manager, make a commitment to address your own stress first by being aware of the indicators of stress and integrating simple short measures in your daily routine. This awareness will alert you to the hotspots and individuals where you need to carry out risk assessments. You can also do this by being vigilant as you go about everyday tasks and including stress reduction and wellbeing as a regular agenda in meetings.
Work in partnership with your team. Make it a priority, build the confidence to have the conversations where you can assess the risks and put in reasonable measures that support the individuals concerned. Delegate responsibility for different wellbeing initiatives and formulate shared goals for employee wellbeing.
Cascading this on an organisational level is best done by getting buy-in from a senior manager who can champion the pledge for employee wellbeing. The responsibility can be delegated to one department or a steering group formed from several key sections such as Human Resources, Occupational Health, Health and Safety and Training and Development.
Stress risk assessments can be included as part of wellbeing, happiness and related companywide surveys. A Corporate Wellbeing and Stress Management Consultant can assist in devising bespoke interventions for managers and your employees.
As well as diffusing the stress hotspots through bespoke training and provisions, the aim is to turn the culture around where there is no stigma attached to having mental health and stress related conversations. A culture where employees feel safe and comfortable about not being okay in their work and home lives. However, this can only happen if the same behaviour is modelled by managers on all tiers and integrated in regular operational procedures.
This undertaking will gradually foster an employee’s sense of being cared for, which will escalate engagement and effectiveness. Happy, healthy and loyal employees are more productive which will increase output and profits. Not only that, your reputation as an individual manager and that of your organisation will also be enhanced.
What would you choose?
To let the wealth of your company, slip through your fingers or build a strong team that fosters care, trust, loyalty, productivity and profits?