Do We Need More Stress Management Policies in Business?

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Recent studies have revealed a serious lack of stress management policies in the British workplace, with more than twenty-five percent of British human resources mangers revealing that they have no formal procedure in place to deal with anxiety or stress within their employees. This is coming at a time when other studies are showing that a lot of employees are feeling snowed under with the amount of work they have to do and are upping their hours to compensate. This leads to employees not taking their full holiday entitlement or even just a long weekend to recuperate and have some me-time.

When OfficeTeam (a recruitment agency) surveyed two hundred human resources mangers they discovered only one in three offer training in stress management to employee’s and/or introduce them to a medical insurance where they can claim counselling should they require it.

They have also found that less than one in three had the option for employees to go through an individual programme when they need it. Around 7% of companies did have a formal policy but it was only for the senior executives and managers. Also, most shockingly, over one quarter (28%) had no formal policy at all.

The survey discovered that employees working in the private sector were the most likely to be discounted, whereas those working in the public sector (in particular those working for well known firms) are more likely to be covered by a stress management policy.

The research conducted also found that ten percent of all employees were not taking their full annual entitlement. It found that people in the north of England and those in Scotland were the most likely not make full use of their holiday entitlement.

Phil Booth, an OfficeTeam director said on the matter: “In addition to implementing formal programmes, employers should look at ways to help manage workloads, whether it’s setting more realistic expectations or bringing in temporary employees to help manage critical initiatives or relieve backlogged departments.”

A study conducted by a Travelodge (a chain of budget hotels) showed that people forgo a proper holiday in favour of more regular ‘nightcations’ where they will only take one night off to rest. The study showed a large number of people (37%) in the United Kingdom are having these one night holidays instead of longer holidays. It also found that one in ten of all UK employees are doing a whopping £157 billion worth of unpaid overtime each year.

As an employer it is in your interest to ensure you retain great staff, to do this you have to ensure that not only do you train and develop your staff but you look after their mental health.

This is a requirement in both Statutory and Common Law for all employers. Employment Law is a complex area; make sure you keep up to date.