Stress needs long-term solution not short-term fix

I was interested to read ‘Are you making your staff ill?’ (Personnel Today, 20 June). The difficulty is that the wellbeing incentives outlined in your article are not geared to addressing workplace stress. So, the employee unable to take holiday because of their workload may spend an hour working out in the subsidised company gym or receive professional counselling, but if they return to the same work stressors afterwards, the benefit will be short-lived.

The cost of stress-related illness is not limited to paying for sickness benefit and additional resources. The biggest cost arises from unseen mistakes of the tired, the declining quality of work, reactive decision-making and strained relationships in and outside the workplace.

Enabling people to talk openly about what gets in the way of high performance as a normal part of a work conversation makes sense. Only then can teams identify improvements in how they work that respect the diverse needs of the group.

Tracy Butterworth, director, Handstand

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