Stressed UK workers are apparently suffering in silence and employers aren’t doing enough to tackle work related- stress (WRS), according to new figures from Mind. The mental health charity’s survey of over 2,000 workers found 45% of those polled said that staff are expected to cope without mentioning WRS & almost a third (31%) said that they would not be able to talk openly to their line manager if they felt stressed. Mind also found a huge difference in the perceptions of managers & their staff about how mental health is addressed in the workplace. Only 22% of workers felt that their boss takes active steps to help them manage WRS. Many managers, however, seem to think that they are doing enough to support staff, with over two- thirds (68%) saying that they would find ways of helping staff who were stressed or experiencing a mental health problem.

The chief executive of Mind, suggests that these figures show that WRS remains the “elephant in the room in many workplaces”. There is often a worrying disparity between how managers & other members of staff view their organisation’s approach to mental wellbeing. It is vital that managers are equipped with the tools they need to be able to confidently & effectively support their staff, whether they are experiencing stress or mental health problems as a result of work or other factors. He adds that there is a real danger that companies are neglecting workplace mental health, with huge implications for staff wellbeing; not to mention productivity, motivation and sickness absence. This may because they are not sure what to do. It has certainly been the authors experience in workplaces that most line managers don’t feel well enough equipped to either recognise of deal with WRS issues especially when the worker themselves may not have recognised this but the line manager suspects something is not right.

How well are your line managers equipped to deal with these processes of WRS identification & management in their reports?” What are the sources of WRS? Have you had that conversation with your staff ore reports?

Article by: Julie Armour – www.WorkingArmour.com.au

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