How do you tell when stress is affecting your staff?
While pressure can sometimes be used as a good motivator for staff, it is important to remember that constantly breathing down someone’s neck isn’t always the best approach.
Stress in the workplace can result in an increase in sick days being taken and can ultimately affect not only an employee’s wellbeing, but the company’s as a whole.
With this in mind, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has revealed a list of warning signs to look out for when the pressure may be starting to become too much for certain members of staff.
One of the more obvious indicators is that of the worker’s physical appearance – if they are starting to turn up for work looking more dishevelled or unkempt, or have put on or lost weight, then the CIPD recommends not ruling out stress as a factor behind these changes.
Another thing to look out for is an apparent loss of humour – with employees potentially no longer being able to laugh at something they may previously have found funny during day-to-day social interactions within the office.
The CIPD is also urging employers to keep an eye on workers’ behaviour in general. If it seems to change – they might become more energetic or spend an increased amount of time being withdrawn – then this could indicate underlying stress. If they start becoming involved in highly emotional exchanges or begin to appear distracted more often then this could also be related back to struggle with the pressures of work.
While these pointers are not comprehensive, they are certainly a starting point when it comes to helping employers identify potential troubles among their workforce.
In terms of tackling the problem, this could be dealt with in a number of ways depending on the individual – from simply sitting them aside and talking to them, to temporarily lifting an element of their workload or allowing them to take advantage of mobile working technology to spend more time at home.