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 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!



Dave’s Story

Counting what really counts!

One of the best things about working at Therapy Solutions is that we get to help some of the most innovative organisations. Companies who are as passionate about  their wellbeing and reward programmes and delivering thousands of treatments to hundreds of sites all over Europe like IKEA, Macalpine, Legal and General, and even Russian Meerkats!

The truth is I am never happier than when we are working on a one to one level having feedback from the individual. The employee who doesn’t get the headaches any longer. The employee whose posture is now correct so they don’t get the aches and pains from sitting at their desk. The construction worker whose lower back pain has gone or the employee who feels valued and brags to friends about working for their company because they love where they work.Because Its then, when you hear the individual’s stories that you know you’re really making a difference, employees like Dave!

Dave’s story

When I first met dave back in 2000 he had spent many years as a fit and healthy man serving in the army but had to leave due to an injury. NTL as it was (A Virgin Media site now) were opening a 2000 seater call centre in the town and he took a job there thinking it would be better for him as the role allowed him to be seated. Within just a few months he was having he quite sever back and hip pain that he was finding quite debilitating, to the point where he was considering leaving the job as it was becoming a real problem for him.

Fortunately for Dave the the company had booked massage sessions twice a week for all their staff. I was still working hands in those days so having given him a massage at his desk I was able to feel the area of tension and this, along with looking at his workstation and chair position I advise him on how to improve his posture.

The company also operated a hot-desking policy which meant never getting the same chair twice so it was crucial that he understood the importance of sitting correctly. I taught him the basics of our simple 60 second posture routine called Sitright so whatever the chair he could sit correctly.

Within 3 weeks of doing this his pain had disappeared…. not long after I moved to an admin role and left the ‘hands on’ side of the business just visiting the site occasionally to meet up with managers. Over 12 years later he spotted me on site and told me how the massage had made him pain free and allowed him to keep his job.

Its about making the difference

It’s when you hear stories like that you know that as a company we are truly making a difference not only to individuals like Dave but also to our clients. Its very difficult to measure the impact of a situation like that, where do you start?

Well, Dave worked in a large contact centre and they have one of the highest attritions rates running at about 24% some times as high as 40% with the average drop off point being 18 months. With direct recruitment costs running at around 3,000 and hidden costs increasing it to a more realistic £6000 you could argue that over the last 15 years we have potentially saved the company in the region of  50,000 in recruitment costs alone for an investment of a few hundred pounds. That is without any potential litigation which could mean a 6 or even 7 figure sum.

Loyal, engaged and happy!
But the most important aspect is that they have retained a now very loyal, engaged and happy member of staff who is still there and has a wealth of knowledge available he’s is also more productive because who works well when they are in pain? All of that is this is priceless for a company but it is impossible to account for it on a spreadsheet. And that’s because very often it what really counts just can’t be counted!
Hear Dave tell his own story in the video clip below



The Christmas Gift That’s Got Me Hooked!

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I must confess, when I unwrapped one of my Christmas presents to see a colouring book I thought my mother had lost the plot!

Turns out that colouring books for grown ups are all the rage as a stress reducer for adults, and having sat down and made a start I must confess I’m a colouring convert!


It’s not about the Colouring!

Of course it’s not really about the colouring despite all my efforts to stay within the lines!
What I’ve realised is that I’m addicted to the calm not the colouring.

It relaxes the amygdala, commonly known as the the fear centre of the brain, so it allows your mind to ‘stand down’ and get some well needed rest, even if it’s just for ten minutes.

Hit the Refresh Button

Any activity that allows you to relax and change focus even for just a few minutes can have an enormous impact on the rest of your day.
It calms the mind and after a long day sitting at a computer screen it gives you something to help you switch off and reduce our workplace stress.

Quieting the Brain Chatter

I can’t remember that last time I sat down and did something so completely mindless, no need to think, no brain required (in a good way!) and yet so totally absorbing. Taking even just short break quietens my ‘brain chatter’ and after just 10 minutes I feel refreshed and ready to crack on with the rest of my day.
It’s no wonder this simple pastime has become such a growing craze any short break from our busy lives can have an enormous impact on our stress levels and productivity. While 10 mins of colouring is never going to replace the stress reducing and calm inducing benefits of a 10 min workplace massage it’s a great start.                                                                                                                                                                                               If we can improve our day and be more productive by sharpening our minds while sharpening our pencils, then that for me it’s, quite literally a no brainer.


#TakeTen minutes out on us…

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