The 1st of April marked the start of Stress Awareness Month, which is an annual awareness campaign dating back to 1992 that aims to increase public awareness about both the causes & fixes for stress.
Stress Management Society states that the theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Regaining Connectivity, Certainty and Control’. This theme has been chosen due to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
65% of people in the UK have felt more stressed since the COVID-19 restrictions began in March 2020. The three key causes for concern are feelings of disconnection, uncertainty, and a worrying loss of control.
Key factors of stress that employers should consider
Employers should assess risks in the following areas to help manage stress levels at work. If not properly managed, they can cause poor health, lower productivity, and increased absence rates.
- Demands – including workload, work patterns, environment
- Control – how much say the person has in the way they complete their work
- Support – including encouragement, sponsorship, and resources available
- Relationships – promoting positive working to avoid conflict
- Role – whether people understand their role within the organisation
- Change – how changes are managed and communicated
How can organisations get involved in Stress Awareness Month?
It can be extremely beneficial for organisations to take part in awareness campaigns that highlight important topics like stress management, as it can ultimately help employees to feel valued at work, which can build on a number of areas including staff loyalty and better productivity.
Here is what you can do to get involved with this particular campaign...
The 30 Day Challenge
According to the Stress Management Society, it takes 30 days to turn actions into habits. For this reason, they are encouraging individuals to pick one action each for their Physical, Mental, and Emotional Wellbeing to carry out every day throughout the whole of April.
They state that this challenge can help individuals maximise their chances of turning useful knowledge and techniques into positive behavioural change.
For organisations to get involved, it’s as simple as raising awareness of this challenge, encouraging employees to talk about the actions they’ve been taking, and checking in with those who are comfortable to talk about their actions.
Encourage conversations about stress
There is a negative stigma surrounding mental-ill health and stress in the workplace, and encouraging employees to open up about the topic helps to break this stigma.
It’s important that we do break this stigma as many people choose to suffer in silence rather than seeking help, and this simply should not be the case.
There are a number of ways you can encourage conversations about stress, including in a staff newsletter, in team meetings, sending a company-wide email, and a wide variety of other creative methods.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you promote conversations about stress & wellbeing, as long as it gets people talking about stress in a positive and productive way.
Stress Awareness Training
Here at iHASCO, we offer an Online Stress Awareness Training course that is designed for the use of all levels of staff and helps to break the negative stigma surrounding stress in the workplace.
The 30-minute IOSH Approved Training course helps users identify stress, effectively reduce and prevent stress, and understand the mental and physical impact stress can have on an individual.
With over 12.5 million working days lost each year in Britain due to stress in the workplace, it is evident that employers need to do more to help their employees struggling to cope with stress in the workplace.
You can claim a free, no-obligation trial to the course today!