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Mental Health Awarness Week: Spotting high stress levels in your organisation (and what to do about them!)

Recognising stress

We’ve 10 FREE stress test cards for you!

The first thing you need to do as a manager to reduce stress in the workplace is to recognise it from an as individual as well as an organisational level. This includes knowing when and how it affects you because one thing is guaranteed … if you’re stressed it will have a knock-on effect.

Spot the symptoms

Stress manifests itself in a variety of ways, but symptoms may include changes in behaviour such as… smoking or drinking more, being unable to sleep, a change in eating habits. Or you may become indecisive, lose concentration, become irritable, angry or anxious, or start feeling tired and listless. Stress can also be the underlying cause of aching muscles, headaches, stomach problems, high blood pressure and palpitations……Click here to continue reading

Lead by example

It is important to ensure that on a company-wide level all possible actions are being taken to reduce work-related stress with improved work practices and management techniques. It is also important to take smaller, more immediate actions on a daily basis: encourage your staff to make small lifestyle changes and lead by example.

MeasureKnow your numbers

How many of your staff suffer with  stress and how stressed are they? find out with our free stress test cards email us on hello@therapysolutions.co.uk and we’ll send you some!

Invest in Wellbeing

Acknowledging stress and having positive attitudes towards it in the workplace ensures an open and positive response to it. It gives people ‘permission’ to be stressed.
All too often, employees are too afraid to mention the ‘S’ word in case it is treated as a sign of weakness. By taking the initiative, introducing a few simple ideas, and leading by example, you can start the attitude adjustment from the ground up. The advice may be obvious, and you may have heard it all before (excuse the pun) but it can’t be stressed enough!

 

 

The top 5 cooling tips for hot workers

With the record breaking temperatures workers have been experiencing this week we’ve put together some cool tips for your staff pass them on and keep your workplace a hot head free zone this summer.

Our usual indicator of how hot we are is perspiration but in very hot weather this trigger isn’t always reliable as the perspiration evaporates as quickly as it appears on the skin leaving the skin feeling dry. This can give a false indicator of how hot we really are so be aware, if you are perspiring without realising you will be losing vital fluids that are not being replaced.

1. Drink, drink, drink!

No, not alcohol that will only dehydrate you more!
Drinking plenty of water while you work is always important, but vita in this heat and don’t wait until you’re thirsty, as that means you’re already dehydrated. Dehydration is bad for your looks, health, and productivity at work. Dehydration can cause many problems, including dry skin, skin flushing, fatigue, headaches,
nausea, muscle cramps, and increased heart rate. So keep cool and stay looking and feeling good.

2. Quick cool down

Put your hands in Run your wrists and hands under a cold tap for a minute. Blood vessels are close to the surface of the skin at this point so it’s a quick way to cool your core temperature and it helps cool the blood. You can also use ice if you have it.

3. Shut out the heat

Shut blinds, curtains and shutters first in the morning to prevent a greenhouse effect Studies found that covering windows can reduce heat entering the house by 80%. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.

4. Dress for the occasion

Wear lightweight, light-coloured clothes made from natural fibles such as cotton linen or silk. Heat is trapped by synthetic fibres,
Keep your head covered when you’re outside and choose flat comfortable shoes with a little give in them as your feet may swell.

5. Get unplugged

Turn off any appliances that are not being used. Phone chargers, computers laptops etc and anything in a standby mode It can reduce room temperature by at least one degree – and every little helps when its sweltering.

If after all of these tips you’re still hot, then eat ice cream, lots and lots of ice cream!

Improving Employee Performance by Putting People First

With the warmer weather finally on its way and everything springing into life, I’ll be taking a look at how we can create the ‘Spring effect’ for employees and boost their productivity at the same time.

 

“I’m going to underperform today!”easy-to-do-great-work-note

Lets face it, no one comes into work and says “I’m going to underperform today!” most employees want to do a good job. As managers we’ve all heard the cry “People are your most important asset” and so know that we should be investing in them and yet many companies are still neglecting this fundamental truth.

It’s all too touchy feely!

If there was a new piece of software or technology that could improve  performance by up to *48% most managers would buy it without question, but if it involves investing in the actual employee it can still be perceived as a bit touchy feely… “it can’t have any real impact on performance …can it?” Smart managers know that you can have all the high tech gismos in the world but if the carbon based life form at the end of the process is unmotivated, stressed or feeling drained when they answer a call the customer knows it. All the expensive technology becomes instantly worthless.

Is there anybody there?

No need to hold a séance just yet but many employees will be IN work but not AT work, not truly present, they come in, ‘sit out’ their shift and then go home. For many, their presence and performance is often restricted by the very nature of the job. Commonly employees feel undervalued stressed or are just physically aching and tired.

The 3 major issues that effect employee performance

1. Lack of engagement
2. High levels of stress
3. High levels of muscular skeletal problems (aches and pains)

Tactical and relevant rewards

How many of your current reward or wellbeing programmes tackle these issues? While a box of chocolates, pizza or fruit will always go down well, a deep pan pepperoni or the occasional banana, with the best will in the world, is never going to relieve an aching neck, tight shoulders or reduce stress levels.
The rewards you implement need to be relevant so the employee knows that you appreciate that aspects of the role can be challenging and that you have addressed it. By investing in a tactical and relevant reward programme you can improve morale and engagement levels, reduce stress, boost energy and improve muscular aches and pains.

Engaged, comfortable and awake!

There are 3 fundamental things an employee should be to perform well. Simply put, they need to be engaged, comfortable and awake!

1. Engaged

An engaged workforce will drive business performance and have a direct impact on the bottom line. Engaged employees are people that are highly motivated and vested in the success of their organizations and are willing to make an extra, discretionary effort in their daily work. By incentivising staff with relevant rewards you make them feel valued, motivated and engaged.

2. Comfortable

Many agents (* typically 65% +) complain about muscular aches and pains as well as high levels of headaches affecting them. (How well does anyone work if they are in pain?) Employees frequently describe the level they feel they are working at when they have muscular aches and pains as around 70%. By reducing the impact of muscular skeletal problems and improving agent posture you can quickly and easily boost productivity.

3. Awake

One of the questions asked in our wellbeing survey is How do you feel at the end of an average shift? The word “tired”  is used on average in 75% of the answers, along with a variety of more colourful language. The obvious next question is At what point during the day did you lose them? One of the biggest drainers of energy is stress, and one of the main ways to reduce stress is to energise! The more energised, refreshed and focused someone feels the less stressed they are, it gives people the “ability to cope”. By boosting employee energy levels you can ensure that they remain refreshed .

Improve their day, Improve your numbers

By tackling the 3 major issues effecting an agents work life on a daily basis, the work becomes easier to perform. This will then substantially improve employee productivity.
To find out how much performance you’re loosing to low motivation stress and muscular skeletal problems ask about our employee wellbeing survey.

Donna Phillips MICHT MGPBT
Head of Happy Healthy Staff Dept
Therapy Solutions

* results from national wellbeing and engagement survey