Stress in the workplace is big news. The recent announcement by the World Health Organisation to include ‘burnout’ in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) highlights that workplace stress has, indeed, reached a worrying level worldwide. Burnout is not a condition or illness in itself, accordnig to the WHo definition, but an ‘occupational phenomenon “influencing health status or contact with health services”.
Simply put, we are working ourselves to ill health.
Stress related illhealth was responsible for 15.4 million lost working days in the UK in 2017/18, with prevelance of stress related problems showing a steady increase. This is taking a toll on all of us. When workers get stressed, this impacts on their lives, their families, their quality of life, and can even impact on their community. In the workplace, the impact of one stressed colleague can ripple far and wide into colleagues, teams, managers, direct reports, customers, and shareholders. The financial cost of stress related absence can be huge. It is estimated to cost UK business around £33.4 — £43.0 billion per year.
This is a staggering cost for something which is almost entirely created in the workplace. We don’t need to work to the point of burnout. It is, as these figures suggest, not sound business to push or allow staff to work to such extremes that they get this ill. It doesn’t make sense financially, and it flies in the face of our human biology.
A negatively stressed mind is focused only on survival, on fight or flight. When a person is stressed, they are not capable of logical thinking, of creativity, empathy and collaboration. They are likely to find focus and concentration difficult, are less likely to be performing at their best, and are likely to be more driven by their emotions. This is not an ideal situation where you want good team working, excellent customer service, creative problem solving etc.
Stress is a beast that feeds itself. A person might find it almost impossible to work well while at the office, then when they get home, they spend the evening fretting about the work they didn’t get done. This can lead to another sleepless night, which makes the person more prone to stress the following day, and the cycle continues until the person reaches burnout or breakdown. Neither of which are good for them or for their employer.
There is a solution. Well planned, structured and implemented workplace wellbeing programmes can show tremendous return on investment, both financially, and in less tangible, but very important areas such as loyalty, turnover, morale and customer service.
Organisations who value the importance of their staff wellbeing have reported benefits such as
- increased engagement
- greater adaptability and resilience of staff
- financial return on investment of up to 9:1
- increased productivity
- reduced staffing costs
- improved company culture
- increased staff morale
- reduced employee stress
….. to name just a few!
All these benefits make a company healthier. A healthy and happy staff will lead to a happy, healthy business. Resilient staff will create a resilient organisation.
And in these uncertain times we are living in, resilience, both personal and organisational, is going to be one of our most valuable assets.
Can you afford not to increase the resilience of your staff?
Take our PACER report today, and find out if your organisation is a PACER for wellbeing. You will receive a free personalised report, along with an invitation to a free consultation call to discuss the findings and explore any next steps.
Don’t delay, take the first step to making your organisation a PACER for wellbeing today.