The Importance of Stress Management for Businesses

Negative workplace stress is defined as:

“The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them” 

(Health & Safety Executive) 

Work related stress has now overtaken backache as the number one reason for absence from work.

In 2008, depression, anxiety and stress-related mental health problems cost an estimated £28.3 billion.

The average absence from work is 29 days, amounting to £588 per person, per year.

The current economic climate is likely to make this situation increasingly costly to businesses and individuals alike.

Where reasonable pressure can be energising, providing stimulus and challenge, and many people thrive on it, others are more susceptible to the adverse effects of unmanaged stress.

Stress in the workplace manifests in a variety of ways, and sometimes it is easier to recognise these in others than in oneself.

Physical symptoms can be headaches, backaches, and repeated infections.

Mental effects include reduced concentration, memory and focus, loss of interest in work, and negative attitides.

Emotionally, stress can show up as anxiety, moodiness, frustration, irritability and tearfulness.

Behaviour can alter, with increased reliance on alcohol and smoking, overeating, more time taken off sick, and failure to fulfil commitments.

Socially, people can become withdrawn, involved in disputes, and office relationships break down.

The best known antidote to stress is exercise, and this is the body’s natural response to our primitive fight/flight protection from wild animals, burning off the stress hormones, adrenalin and cortisol.

However, the sources of modern stress are more complex, including the frustrations of technology, travel, and juggling the increasing demands of work responsibilities and family commitments. This all requires a broader approach which can address the full range of presentations listed above.

Key Steps Coaching supports and complements structures already in place, such as good management and communication, a positive work environment and effective organisation of work.

We work closely with our clients to ensure that any programme is tailored to their needs.

So why invest in stress management and coaching?

The costs to a business or organisation of unmanaged stress

  • Reduced productivity and profitability
  • Poor staff retention and increased recruitment costs
  • Negative effects on customer service and reputation
  • Increased danger of litigation for compensation for work-place stress-related illness

The effects of stress on individual employees

  • Ineffective performance and lack of motivation
  • Absenteeism
  • “Burn-out”

In turn, this affects teams

  • Relationships and team work deteriorate
  • Workloads increase to cover for absenteeism
  • Morale falls

A recent survey shows that almost three quarters of executives claim that workplace stress is damaging their performance, their health, happiness and home life.

Many of the delegates to workshops and groups run by Key Steps Coaching highlight an overload of stressors, and that they have no strategies to deal with them. They have valued the immediate and effective results that they have gained with us.

The cost benefits of investing in the health and wellbeing of your workforce

  • Fewer traumatic losses of staff expertise through illness or death while of working age
  • Positive influence on staff recruitment, retention and morale
  • Return on Investment:
  • “For every £1 spent of workplace wellbeing interventions, there is a return of more than £4 to the company.” (PriceWaterhouseCoopers)
  • “A business employing 2,000 staff could save themselves £6.6 million a year with a targeted workplace wellbeing initiative.” (Robertson Cooper Consultants)

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