What measures do you have in place to manage stress? One of the most crucial ways to manage stress in our industry is to work collaboratively. It is vital that no single person feels the burden of a project’s weight too much. By working collaboratively at all times means (we hope) that this doesn’t happen. It also protects us as a business because if we lose a person to sickness, we don’t have an instant “brain drain”. Instead, there are other team members who can pick up the baton. Through collaborative working and talking regularly, we hope to identify pressure points in projects and plan for them before they become unmanageable. But it’s also about allowing people to form their own routines where possible. For example, we allow remote working if this helps relieve stress. We also provide a comfortable working environment (we recently moved into a bigger office) with comfy spaces away from desks if people want a bit of quiet time. What are the signs you might pick up on that an employee is under too much stress? Anything that is outside of their usual characteristics. Maybe they have become insular when they are normally talkative. Maybe they are unusually short-tempered or indecisive. These are the kind of signs of stress that business leaders need to look out for.
In an ideal world, if money was no object, what measures would you put in place to manage employee stress? What we would really want to invest in are things that help our people achieve sound body and mind. This could be via workplace activities, incentives or encouraging the team to develop healthier lifestyle habits. Regular group exercise, before work or even during the day, would help sweat out the pressure of the day and keep people fresh. It’s also about ensuring the office is set up to help people unwind, like including a quiet, acoustic space in every workplace. Our new office, for instance, has two acoustic meeting rooms for people to escape to. What would be your advice for small businesses looking to improve their employees’ stress levels, and general health and wellbeing? Engage with them! Understand what they want, what would help them de-stress. Not everyone would want to run around the park at lunchtime. Each person has their own unique needs and ways of coping. I’d also say smaller businesses should learn from the mistakes of larger or older companies. We have a big opportunity to reinvent the rules and do right by our staff. For more information to help support the health and wellbeing of your employees please visit: https://www.axappphealthcare.co.uk/small-business/advice/
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