Keep a look out for signs of stress
With the cost to UK business of stress and stress related illness estimated at anything between £5 billion and £12 billion, it is clearly in your interest to nip any potential problem in the bud before it starts to impact on your bottom line.
Look for the signs
Telltale signs that an employee might have a stress problem include:
Health - symptoms such as headaches, tiredness, indigestion, or unusual weight changes
Behaviour - signs of uncharacteristic irritability, anxiety, or depression
Self management - difficulty in managing time or in making decisions, seems to do everything in a hurry or be flustered by apparently simple tasks
Relationships - becoming more or less confrontational, or more or less withdrawn
If you see signs of stress a quiet chat with the person concerned and/or with his or her colleagues is often all that is needed to identify the causes.
Very often the main causes are not work-related, but there might be aggravating factors in the workplace. Research suggests such factors include:
- Having to deal with excessive red tape
- Skills shortages
- Pressure to succeed
- Constant interruptions
- Lack of support
- Poor communication
- Incompetent management
- Poor internal communications
Take appropriate action
A stressed mind quickly loses perspective and easily gets things out of proportion, and although any of the above might be cited by the individual as the cause of their problem, they are very often more perceived than actual causes.
Either way you need to take appropriate action because stress in the workplace is infectious and soon starts to eat in to your bottom line.