April is Stress Awareness month in the UK and in recognition of this we have pulled together some of our top tips to help managers identify employees who may be suffering from stress and some of the ways you can help support them.
We all experience stress at one time or another, however, the last year has been a particularly challenging and stressful time for most of the world. According to the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of UK adults have felt stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.
Stress can impact people physically and mentally and it can affect their behaviour and performance in work. It can be difficult for employers to spot the signs of stress in their employees during this period of homeworking, however, some of the signs that could be displayed and may prompt a conversation with an employee include:
- Working long hours / not taking breaks – employee’s logins may be showing as active for long periods of the day;
- Not actively taking part in team video calls;
- Uncharacteristic performance issues;
- Easily distracted or confused by work tasks;
- Mood changes or erratic behaviour.
Employers should approach any conversations sensitively and should not make assumptions about how the employee is feeling. You should encourage your employees to talk openly to you to allow you to consider the best approach to support them going forward.
The ways in which employers can help support employees could include:
- Hold regular one-to-one meetings with employees so you can have an open conversation about how they are feeling and allow you spot any signs where they may be struggling;
- Continue to provide employees with ways to connect with each other when working from home by setting up regular team meetings. These can be based around work and company updates or can be done on a more informal basis to allow employees to catch up with the team;
- Encourage your employees to set boundaries between work and home, if possible, set a separate space for work to allow employees to set start and finish times for work that allow them to switch off from work. Employees should also ensure they take regular breaks;
- Set up time for social interactions outside of working hours;
- Encourage employee to schedule and take their annual leave.
We would also recommend that employers explore the resources within their benefits provisions as many providers offer free additional support and ensure these are well communicated to the workforce.
If you require any assistance or support in managing employee relations concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Involve HR LLP for more information at email@example.com