In the current economic climate, the stress is an increasingly important issue in most businesses. NorthgateArinso Employer Services offers some suggestions on how to find it and how to deal with it.
In the face of the worst recession for 60 years, even the most formidable of small business owners tend to feel stressed. Business down, money is not getting tight and unrelenting workloads. Addressing the root cause of the stress is essential to ensure the welfare and performance of you and your employees, but also to maintain the overall health of your company. So how should you approach stress and what steps you can take to manage them in your business?
Why deal with the stress?
The cost of ignoring stress in your business can be high. Unexpected loss of a member of staff can greatly affect productivity and efforts to secure the cover can be costly and time consuming.
As well as loss of productivity and increased sickness absence, there are legal implications that may increase the cost of fatigue to venture further. For example, the risk of compensation claims for injuries and illnesses that make it more important than ever for employers to carry out their duty of care by reducing the incidence of stress in the workplace related stress.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that employers have a general duty to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work. This includes taking steps to ensure that they do not suffer from stress-related illness as a result of their work.
Causes of fatigue
- Job insecurity - one of the biggest causes of stress during the current crisis is the fear of redundancy. This has an impact not only employees, but also for those who carried redundancy. Do not be tempted to rush through things because you are under pressure, maintaining standards of practice and make sure you get it right will pay off in the long run by preventing undue stress and pressure.
- Excess Labor and excessive pressure can lead to major stress. Risk of overloading the staff to the point that they are not effective is a very real problem when running in a difficult market.
- The workload is not enough - Beware of 'underload', not enough can be as stressful stimulate job. Managing work and sharing the load of the entire team is the key to keeping employees engaged and involved.
Other common causes of fatigue include lack of control, difficulty making the transition to a new role and effective management. In some cases, the stress may be associated with a job but have an impact on a person's ability to perform in the workplace.
Knowing the signs
All of this is about knowing your people. Is there a change in their behavior, their actions will suffer if they suddenly become withdrawn or not even show it? Being always alert and be efficient in the area of stress to others is an important skill.
Stress can manifest itself both physically but also mentally. Individuals stressed tend to make more mistakes and can show behavior irritable and sensitive. This is when the fatigue is pressed it is the most risk. It is important to create a supportive environment that prevents the stress from fester and spiral to the point where a person is not able to come to work.
Work with staff to combat stress
One of the best ways to assess the level of fatigue in your business is to carry out stress audits. It also can help you to assess the risk of stress that people may confront your business as part of a health and safety risk assessment with you.
Stress audit involves the question of informal staff to find out where there may be concerns. It is important to let people know why you are doing your exercises and what you want to achieve. Revisiting it every six months shows that you are committed to responding to the concerns raised and allows you to monitor how effectively it is met.