Why Prioritising Stress Management and Stress Awareness in Employees is Critical to Well-Being

Stress Management and Stress Awareness in Employees is Critical to Well-being

Studies show that managing employee burnout, work-related stress, and anxiety are growing problems for UK businesses. According to the Mental Health Foundation, at some point in the last year, 74% of us have felt so mentally stressed that we cannot cope. This Stress Awareness Week, Onebright looks at how managers can learn the signs of stress, practice stress management in the workplace and distinguish between stress and pressure.

Stress can’t be eliminated entirely, and a healthy amount of stress leads to productivity and creativity. According to what is known as “The Yerkes-Dodson law,” performance increases with physiological or mental arousal, such as stress. But this only happens up to a point.

When the stress level becomes too high, overall performance decreases, affecting the company’s culture and bottom line. To ensure you have happy, healthy, and engaged employees, prioritising stress management in the workplace is a must.

Why is stress management important in the workplace? 

On the surface, employees experiencing high levels of work-related stress may sometimes appear successful and put together — excelling in both their work and personal life. However, the reality is that the way a person feels on the inside may be very different from the outward reality they are presenting.

The main characteristics of work-related stress include worrying, difficulting making decisions, forgetfulness and fatigue, all of which can negatively impact a person’s life. For some, this can be debilitating, and simple tasks or events can be perceived as much more significant, causing a drop in performance, problems sleeping, depression or a rise in anxiety. 

Stress from work can quickly spill over into an employee’s private life and affect relationships. This can lead to performance problems where an employee may ‘quietly quit’, or what many employers also refer to as ‘presenteeism’: the lost productivity that occurs when employees are not fully functioning in the workplace because of a mental illness. 

Are there positives of work-related stress?

However, it’s also true that people who are feeling stressed may also have characteristics that use these feelings to their advantage, including being high-achieving, organised and driven. The difference relies on understanding how managers are supporting and prioritising stress management. 

How do you motivate a stressed employee? 

We take a look at some stress management techniques that managers and employers can use.

A problem shared is a problem halved

It is not always obvious when a person is stressed, so colleagues and team leaders may miss the subtle signs or misread the symptoms as something else. Allowing them to speak openly, without fear of being judged, can help massively and increase feelings of acceptance.

This also opens the door for conversations surrounding mental health and could even allow managers to open up about their own experiences of being stressed and share strategies for managing it. 

Recognise the symptoms 

A good way of coping with heightened stress levels is to be fully aware of the triggers and symptoms. Understanding that these reactions aren’t justified is the first step to overcoming them. Feelings of stress and overthinking tend to interfere with day-to-day life, making regular activities challenging to control. Recognising the instances where stress levels are heightened so, you can start working through them or finding ways to mitigate them together is important. Problem-solve what you can and leave the rest aside.

Work stress management training 

Being trained to implement is a strategic place to start, and it also helps you and your organisation prioritise stress management as an ongoing initiative. Onebright offers advanced training courses on stress management and leading through change programs to equip leadership and individuals within your company with effective stress management and workplace mental health strategies.

Law of attraction 

Engaging with stress symptoms can be a tough habit to break, and the more energy you give it, the harder it can be to break the habit. Through stress management techniques, employees can start changing how they think and perceive these stressful thoughts, reducing their control over them. Encourage stressed employees to not focus on worries that are not productive. We often think we’re problem-solving when all we are doing is tormenting ourselves with “what if” worst-case scenarios. Instead, focus on things we can change constructively and find ways to optimise these processes for others. 

Take small steps

Someone with job stress won’t necessarily feel less stressed when returning from the office. Employees should be encouraged to lay out realistic milestones or goals for the future, no matter the size, and work towards those. Employees can find support from colleagues and managers who may feel the same, and together, they can shift towards a calmer, less stressed life. 

 Sign-post mental health services that can help

Stress responds very well to targeted therapy and other appropriate interventions, primarily Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. While we continue to navigate various remote working options, Onebright offers CBT therapists in London and across the UK who can provide remote therapy sessions in the comfort of your home and face-to-face therapy services. 

Enquire about Onebright Stress Management training

If you require more information on work stress, read some of our related articles below. If you want to enquire about a bespoke stress management program for your management team, get in touch by filling out the form below. 


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