Employee wellbeing is all over the news and it has been for 10 years now with the disruption caused to the economy by the Great Recession of 2008-2009 and its long-lasting effects. “Going to work is more stressful than ever” according to a YouGov poll for the Trades Union Congress (source: Independent) and Entrepreneur Europe has declared that “workplace stress is at a record high.”
Russam GMS’s survey, as reported in HR Review, found that four fifths of staff think work is more stressful than five years ago. 75% of staff blamed mobile technology for this as 60% of respondents revealed that their employer expects them to answer emails when they’re not in work. Financial targets and being on call around the clock “makes things relentless”.
Perhaps most worrying was that the survey also discovered that four fifths of employers had no guidelines or procedures for recognising mental health issues at work. Mental health, mindfulness, and resilience are three key topics that employers and employees need to get to grips with for increased profitability and the creation of a better, healthier, happier workplace.
In this article, the In House Training Team consider the importance of mental health, mindfulness, and resilience.
Poor employee mental health is costing the country billions – up to £99bn a year according to HR Review – and the personal consequences for staff members with poor mental health are significant. The government have finally recognised the scale of the problem and they have begun to invest more into NHS mental health services in an attempt to reduce its occurrence among the population.
According to Deloitte, the worldwide consultancy firm, every £1 invested by an employer in the mental health of their staff produces a return of £1.50 to £9. The business case is strong but many employers and their management feel unable to cope with staff mental health issues because of a lack of training and because, for many, discussing their own mental health issues is still, in 2019, taboo.
Employers need to develop their awareness of mental health issues among their work force. This awareness gives employers the power to help a struggling staff member constructively before the problem becomes too entrenched. With the right knowledge and a shared determination between the board and senior management, it’s possible for firms to promote good mental health and maintain it for every single colleague.
To find out more about our mental health in the workplace course, please click here.
What is mindfulness? It’s an awareness of exposure to conflict, anxiety, and stress that colleagues face backed up by a strategy to reduce these feelings. It’s about improving the lines of communication between colleagues in a hierarchical structure. It’s about giving colleagues better resilience and the emotional intelligence to see how others perceive things.
80% of the people you manage at work feel stress and they don’t know how to cope with it (source: Stress.org). 2,000 Paychex employees surveyed felt stress due to a lack of work/life balance, their workload, the people around them in the office, and the security of their jobs. Paychex’s management use mindfulness as a way to help their staff members handle work-related stress.
Mindfulness assists problem-solving in the workplace. It gives staff members vitality and it emphasises the importance of empathy in team building. Introducing mindfulness practices to a workplace enhances stakeholder creativity and adaptability through an increased ability to absorb and process information.
The In-House Training Company hold a mindfulness introduction course for companies who want to make and be seen to make a sustainable, sincere, and genuine commitment to improving wellbeing and productivity in the workplace. For more information about our introduction to mindfulness course, please click here.
Resilience is something that, since childhood, we should all have been trained better in. We experience problems, challenges, and sometimes immense difficulties in our school lives, work lives, and personal lives. Resilience is the ability to keep calm and focused under pressure – resilience is when you control your emotions, not the other way around, and it determines how you react to setbacks. Resilience is about recognising the inevitability of change and adapting strategies to cope.
The detrimental personal consequences of not being able to cope with change are profound. As Positive Psychology Program reports, a 12 year study following the lives of employees through a period of telecoms industry de-regulation found that one third of the employees involved not only survived the changes but “actually flourished”. Nearly half of those employees lost theirs jobs and two thirds of those went onto suffer adverse effects like heart attacks, anxiety, depression, and divorce as a result.
Resilience not only improves the chances of your business succeeding in both good and bad times – it gives the people you work with every day the power and the control over the rest of their lives that many will lack at the moment.
To increase staff resilience, employees need a practical understanding of the interplay being resilience as a character trait, overall wellbeing, operational performance, and the ability to cope with the pressure of work. They need to better understand what their natural strengths are in a world where we seem more pushed into thinking what’s wrong with us before we think about what’s right with us.
Taking control and being resilience requires an understanding of what it is that turns you from being a productive and resourceful member of staff into the opposite. There will be role models we have or have had at work and at school – people whose natural resilience we admire – and the key to becoming that resilient person is to understand their attitudes and their behaviours.
Being able to demonstrate resilience to your colleagues and feel resilience within yourself when challenged and under pressure is, arguably, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself to aid your career. To find out more about our overview on resilience course, please click here.
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