Author Bio ▼

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
June 5, 2018

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Wellbeing still a ‘work in progress’ in most HR departments

Two thirds of HR managers have admitted that wellbeing is still a “work in progress” in their departments, according to a new survey.

The survey by HR and payroll specialists Cascade found that only 13% of HR/business managers believe their organisation has an effective wellbeing strategy in place, while 67% replied it was “a work in progress”.

The firm’s 2018 Stress Report, which surveyed 540 participants from a variety of sectors, roles and demographics, also found that stress is now considered “a way of life” for four out of five UK workers.

But around one in five (18%) HR bosses said tackling the growing mental wellness problem at work was their top priority, with a further 58% admitting it is of crucial importance so they will ramp up their efforts.

“Of the business owners and HR managers questioned, only 57% were aware of the cost of absence within their organisation,” said Cascade’s Chief Executive Oliver Shaw.

“This suggests that, despite the apparent scale of the problem, there is still something of a dismissive mentality surrounding how worrying it really is and what to do about it.

“There is the outright fiscal impact of absence to consider of course, associated with reduced output, lost productivity and the need to employ temporary staff whilst also covering sick pay. But there are far wider-reaching consequences too including the detrimental effect on colleagues’ morale, the degradation of team dynamics and a potential drop in customer service,” added Mr Shaw.

“Above all though we need to be thinking about the root cause of the absence, and the steps that can be taken to prevent stress from having such an impact in the first place.”

Cascade’s Stress Report 2018 found 40% of workers believe their employer takes enough proactive steps to protect the wellbeing of them and their colleagues.

And more than half (53%) said they have a place they feel they could go within the workplace to help alleviate the symptoms of stress and 61% think they could speak up at work if they started to experience these symptoms.

“It’s quite encouraging to see that whilst there is still a lot of work to be done on employers’ parts, employees are recognising the efforts made so far. Hopefully this is a sign that stigma surrounding stress and mental wellness is changing,” added Mr Shaw.

“It is important to note that employees can take steps to help themselves too. Whilst a supportive line manager is undoubtedly crucial in this debate, the research found that activities such as seeking colleague support, listening to music and taking regular breaks can also reduce the feeling of stress.”

The full 2018 Stress Report can be found on Cascade HR’s website.


What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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