Work-related stress, depression or anxiety is defined as a harmful reaction people have to undue pressures and demands placed on them at work. Research from the Health and Safety Executive highlighted that the total number of cases of work related stress in 2014/15 was 440,000 cases. The total number of working days lost due to this condition in 2014/15 was a staggering 9.9 million days.
In the face of these statistics, a huge number of British businesses are striving to create mentally healthy workplaces. While it is employees who need to do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to their own wellbeing, employers do have a crucial role to play to create a working environment that fosters good mental health. Many years ago, a central characteristic for success in the workplace once was loyalty. Today what every employee needs is resilience … as an employer, what can you do to ensure your workforce is resilient?
Firstly, what is resilience?
Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress— such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. Simply, it means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences.
But it’s not something people are born with – in reality resilience is an active choice, a mindset everyone is capable of achieving. In a nut shell, it is something you choose. Here are a few tips to help yourself and your employees to become more resilient in the face of stress:
Believe that stress is an opportunity
Believing stress is bad for you has a negative effect on how you deal with it. Positive employees are more resilient than pessimists, and they can work to become more optimistic. When resilient employees get the feelings associated with stress – heart pounding, sweaty palms – they recognise that this is because they care about the outcome, and they prepare to perform well, with excitement and courage rather than dread.
Have a clear vision
Employees need to have a fairly clear idea of what they are trying to achieve in their life. It helps to have written this down somewhere. The vision itself might be blurred; it should not be time constrained, but it should be feasible to achieve. Once they’ve achieved what they want, they’ll have to implement another vision to keep resilient.
Connect and help others
Stress can tempt us to isolate ourselves; to feel our pain alone. Resilient employees connect, offer help, accept help offered and are not afraid to ask for it.
Learn something new
To deal effectively with change, it helps to be engaged in changing yourself. The most innovative and resilient professionals tend to frequently engage in learning or improvement efforts. When people are in the process of learning, their viewpoint changes, and they spot connections that they never noticed before. If employees don’t know what to do next, encourage them to start learning something new.
Get in shape
For most employees, their career is influenced by everything they do to stay in shape – physically, emotionally and spiritually. To ensure that staff do their best work, and to build their resilience that will keep them going, make sure they manage their fitness and energy levels, as well as their time.
At Healthy Performance, we are passionate about the benefits of reducing stress and improving wellbeing in the workplace. We work with organisations to help all team members perform at their best – in the stretch zone, a place of high energy, engagement, creativity and performance. Achieving this has many benefits – for team members and your organisation.
To help achieve this goal we offer a range of workshops which can be tailored to meet your precise needs and integrate with existing activities and policies. The information provided is based on our experience with different clients and we can work with you to adapt this, making sure that together we maximise the impact. For further details on how you can implement a stress and resilience strategy within your workforce, please call a member of the HP team on 01295 230120 or check out our web page.