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Managing Stress at Work


There is an article on the ACAS website that stated in March 2023, ACAS had carried out a poll among employees regarding how effectively they felt their employer was at managing stress at work. Worryingly, the poll identified that only 34% of employees felt that their workplace was effective at managing stress. 23% neither agreed nor disagreed.


There are many reasons why your employees' health might be affected by stress both inside and outside of work. However, this poll revealed that 3 out of 5 employees (63%) felt stressed due to the rising cost of living.


Therefore, it is worth noting ACAS' advice to employers on managing stress at work.


Firstly, look out for signs of stress amongst your employees which can include:


  • Poor concentration

  • Difficulty making decisions

  • Being irritable or short-tempered

  • Tearfulness

  • Tiredness

  • Low mood

  • Avoiding social events


As an employer try and:


  • Be approachable, available and have an informal chat with employees who are feeling stressed

  • Respect confidentiality and be sensitive and supportive when talking to your employees about work-related stress

  • Communicate any internal and external help available to your employees such as referring them to the manager responsible for wellbeing in the company or any financial advice they can access if the cost of living is a cause of stress


Additional Stress Management Initiatives: The Power of Charity Work


In light of the recent ACAS poll, it's evident that stress management in the workplace is a pressing concern. One innovative approach to consider is incorporating charity work into your organisation's stress management strategy.


Here are some quick ideas:

  • Annual Charity Day: Allow employees to take one paid day off per year to volunteer at a charity of their choice.

  • Team Charity Projects: Organise group volunteer activities that not only contribute to a good cause but also serve as team-building exercises.

  • Skill-Based Volunteering: Encourage employees to offer their professional skills to charities, providing a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

  • Charity Challenges: Create fun and engaging charity challenges, such as sponsored walks or bake sales, where employees can participate without feeling the pressure of work-related tasks.

  • Mindfulness Through Giving: Introduce workshops that focus on the mental health benefits of altruism, reinforcing the positive impact of charity work on stress levels.

  • Recognition and Rewards: Acknowledge and celebrate the charitable efforts of employees, creating a positive feedback loop that can alleviate stress.

  • Charity Partnerships: Form long-term partnerships with charities, offering employees various opportunities to engage in volunteer work throughout the year.


By integrating charity work into your stress management initiatives, you not only foster a culture of giving but also provide a constructive outlet for stress relief. This aligns well with ACAS' advice on being approachable and supportive, offering a holistic approach to employee well-being.

Stress can cause long-term sick absences which in turn will have a negative impact on your organisation’s ability to provide its service or meet its targets or deadlines.



Managing Your Own Mental Health - additional note by Julie Painter, HR Consultant

And don’t forget to take time for yourself away from work. I spent a lovely half an hour after work yesterday, in the sun mowing my lawn. I actually find it very therapeutic although I know some hate this task. I am fortunate to have a largish lawn and I find walking up and down it with the mower, making nice straight lines, and letting my mind wander, very relaxing after the stresses of the day.


Another way I decompress is through my involvement in the Dorset Rock Choir. It's not just about the joy of singing; it's also about being part of/and supporting a group of like-minded people; the challenge of learning lyrics and moves by a deadline (keeping your mind active) as well as supporting local events and great causes.


And Finally...


We are excited to announce that Julie will be a member of the Dorset Rock Choir performing at The Thomas Hardye Theatre at 1.00 pm on Saturday 16th September. It’s all in a good cause; this performance is supporting a local Dorset charity, Amelia’s Rainbow. So why not decompress and support a good cause at the same time? Get your tickets at www.eventbrite.co.uk


I'll be performing a 90-minute set and, while I'm a bit nervous, I'm also excited to be back on stage.


If you need advice on managing stress at work, or managing absences, or any HR related support contact Auxilium HR Solutions.

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