According to a recent report on HR Grapevine a survey conducted by Depressed Alliance revealed that a third of employees struggle to cope at work because of stress, depression or burn out.
The CIPD note stress as the number one cause of long term absence (four weeks or longer) attributing to the rising costs of absence within businesses.
So what can companies do to alleviate this situation and prevent employees becoming ill and potentially absent from the work place??
There are many ways in which employers can improve well-being, identify causes of stress and help employees suffering from mental health issues remain at work;
- Investing in health and well-being, providing a discounted gym membership, access to an in house gym and support services from healthcare providers such as Bupa.
- Encourage employees to develop a good ‘work/life’ balance, discourage unnecessarily long working hours.
- Provide clear guidance and job expectations; whether new to the company, established in role or moving to a new role.
- Invest in Employee Engagement; CIPD research suggests higher levels of stress is associated with lower work satisfaction, motivation and work performance also suffer.
- Aim to address absenteeism early to prevent it becoming long term, try and identify the cause of the health issues and what can be done to help.
- Where someone is absent with mental health issues maintain the channels of communication and ensure they don’t feel isolated, work with them to identify adjustments that will help them back into the workplace.
- Look out for signs of conflict in the workplace; personality clashes, competitiveness, disputes or signs of bullying.
- Invest in training managers well, line managers have a significant impact on mental well-being on a day to day basis and those that treat their employees well, creating a supportive environment will help to maintain motivation and engagement and lower the level of absenteeism.
- Ensure there is a focus on learning and development at an individual and organisational level.
- Maintain adequate staffing levels to prevent employees becoming over stretched and unable to cope with their usual roles.