UK business feels the pressure

The
majority of British businesses are reporting a drop in productivity as a result
of workplace stress.

A
study, by Croner Consulting, reveals that as Britain continues to be named
Europe’s hardest working country, the effects of pressure are taking a dramatic
toll on employees and the profitability of businesses.

The
survey of 100 employers reveals that 65 per cent of senior managers have
reported employees complaining of stress in recent months, with 56 per cent
admitting it was affecting their productivity.

The
companies polled by Croner represent a cross-section of UK businesses,
indicating that stress is widespread and not significantly linked to a
particular industry or job.

Richard
Smith, corporate and training manager at Croner Consulting, said: “Our clients
are telling us that stress is a serious issue for their employees and the
bottom line, but equally it is still often seen as part of modern day culture,
a weakness in employees, or even an excuse for time off.

“In
fact, employers have a legal obligation to ensure employees are not made ill by
their work. But stress is still costing businesses, causing high staff
turnover."

Croner
advises clients to take practical steps to minimise the conditions that lead to
employee stress, as well as protect against future legal claims:


Treat stress as a serious issue and make sure you communicate to employees your
commitment to dealing with stress


Encourage line managers to have a positive and open attitude towards pressures
of work and provide adequate training to enable them to recognise signs of
stress in their employees


Provide training and resources for all employees so they can carry out their
role with confidence


Where possible, provide varying work conditions and flexibility. Allow employees
to have a say in their role as this will help keep their interest and give them
a feeling of ownership


Have clear discrimination policies – make sure all employees know your business
will not tolerate bullying or harassment


Make sure there is the opportunity for good two-way communication and provide
effective support to all employees

By Ben Willmott

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