Managers: The HEALTH AND WEALTH OF YOUR COMPANY is in your hands.

Do you agree that the health of your workers is crucial to the wealth of your company?

There is a growing empirical base which supports the notion that good worker health and resilience is closely related to increased productivity and innovation.

Although Health and Safety law has ensured that working environments are becoming safer on a physical level, this does not appear to be the case from a psychological or stress level.

It is not good news to hear the CIPD’s 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 per cent of the public sector in particular 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 lose of tax revenue.

So as a Manager how can you ensure that you are not part of these statistics?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) sets out 6 standards that employers must focus on to identify the stress risks of workers:

Demands – are work volumes, patterns and 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? 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 management behaviour and team stress through their Managers Competency Indicator s.

Often managers are selected for their technical and practical skills instead of their ability to people manage.  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?

Are there gaps in your management competencies that could be costing your company in ways that you are losing good workers and productivity?

Certainly food for thought!

Hansa Pankhania is the Director of AUM Consultancy.  She is a Fellow of the International Stress Management Association.

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