Supporting employees with stress to help them perform well

Posted on December 4, 2017 by Victoria Cummins

Two ladies at their desks discussing work

It's safe to assume that nearly all employees are feeling the pressures of modern day life.

Advancing technology means work creeps into home lives with mobile phones and tablets pinging and ringing at all hours. And at home people are being stretched in all directions to meet everyone else's - and their own - demands.

Present but unable to perform

With the demands of this 'always on' culture, putting additional stresses and strains on our employees' brains and bodies, it's no surprise that our workforces are becoming more distracted, more stressed and less productive.

Despite being overwhelmed by the mental strain of escalating life pressures, employees who are experiencing high levels of stress are continuing to show up at work and struggle through the day.

They may think that they are 'doing their bit' to keep the business running. But in reality, this achieves the opposite and can slow down the individual employee's recovery, while impacting the rest of the team by potentially spreading their negativity office-wide.

These employees - and in some cases, entire teams - simply won't be able to perform at their peak. Productivity levels may falter, office morale could take a turn for the worse and the business' bottom line will suffer as a result.

This issue, known as 'presenteeism', is a growing problem across UK businesses. In 2016, the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) Absence Management Survey found that nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents observed 'presenteeism' within their organisation.

But how do we tackle this? After all, we need our employees mentally fit so that they, and our business, can perform well.

Wellbeing is a business necessity

Rather than trying to mitigate the consequences of our employees suffering from high levels of life stress alone, we need to be more proactive, preventing poor employee wellbeing and subsequent presenteeism before it has a chance to occur.

Providing employees with access to a health plan gives them 24/7 access to GP services, around the clock support from a counsellor, plus the opportunity to get physical aches and pains addressed.

As a result, employees will be able to get the emotional and medical support that they need when they need it. They will be encouraged and supported to take better long-term care of themselves amidst the increasing burdens of modern living, often without the need to take any time off work.

Historically, many people with mental health conditions find it harder to remain in employment long-term. However, the Government's Thriving at Work review has found that there are 1.5million people in the UK living with a long-term mental health condition are currently in work and the rate of employment has increased.

This shows that a prevention over cure approach is most effective at improving your employees' health and wellbeing in the long term - meaning they remain at the top of their game day in, day out.

To find out more about how Simplyhealth can help your employees and your business to perform well, please visit: simplyhealth.co.uk/businesses.

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