Every year the first Wednesday of November is known as National Stress Awareness Day. We sometimes hear people saying they thrive on stress, whilst other people say they feel stressed out often. Stress is individual and as part of wellbeing, it can affect us differently as a whole and one day to the next.

In a study conducted by the HSE, it was found that over 17.9 million working days were lost during the 2019-20 period due to work-related stress, anxiety and depression.

Employers need to identify what stress is and how they can recognise it in themselves and their employees and what support can be offered.

Wellness policies
Having a wellness policy is a great starting point and asking employees what support they need is crucial to making a policy worthwhile. Support can include help with time management, encouraging break times, having meetings in the fresh air if possible, professional support and wellness champions.

Wellness culture
Stress can result in time off work, a dip in performance and / or a change in behaviours often including feel undervalued or lacking confidence. Help your employees by giving praise and feedback and acknowledging mistakes will happen. Have a culture where training is readily available to help reduce mistakes and improve confidence and performance.

Mental health training
Invest in mental health first aid training to raise awareness and provide support. Have regular wellness feedback sessions, ask “what are we doing well” and “how can we improve”.
Finally, remember the saying “laughter is the best medicine”? it has been proved that laughter can relieve stress. Find ways of bringing laughter into the workplace, perhaps laughter yoga to help improve stress and fitness.

As published by JG HR Solutions in HR News on 1st November 2021

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