The words 'health and safety' often conjure up images of things like safety shoes, black and yellow tape on steps, and hi-vis jackets – the kinds of equipment we use to prevent accidents and injuries, and keep people safe.
But what about the 'health' half of the phrase, which is equally important?
Businesses tend to have a good idea of what goes into creating environments that encourage safety, but looking out for employees' mental health and welfare is a different challenge altogether.
National Stress Awareness Day is next Wednesday 4th November, and this year's theme is "Employee wellbeing as a worthwhile investment in your business."
Last year, stress accounted for 35% of work-related ill health cases, amounting to a total of 9.9 million lost days, so it's clear that potentially huge productivity increases are possible by reducing workplace stress.
Stress is caused when individuals don't feel able to cope with what is demanded of them, and many factors can contribute towards stress at work including worries about redundancy and relationship conflicts between colleagues.
As well as being a cause of numerous illnesses leading to absence, stress causes people to be more prone to errors, fatigued, unhappy and overall unproductive.
Helping employees manage their own stress
Our recently released Managing Your Personal Stress eLearning course can help businesses look after employee wellbeing to improve performance and productivity.
The course is designed for all employees, providing an overview of the causes and symptoms of work-related stress, and equipping employees with coping strategies to manage their daily lives without becoming stressed.
Made with Adapt technology to be cross-platform, the course can be completed by employees whenever and wherever works for them on a personal computer, tablet or smartphone.
Being able to recognise that they are stressed is the first step an employee can take towards managing stress and reducing its negative effects, leading to better business results.
Helping managers to create harmonious workplaces
As well as training individual employees to identify and manage their own stress, businesses should ensure their management staff are supporting a stress-free environment and have a thorough understanding of how to manage stress issues in teams.
To support this need, we also provide a course on Managing Stress in Your Team, which shows managers how to manage effectively without causing stress and identify possible sources of stress within teams long before they cause a serious issue.