People managers are people too. For managers responsible for education, training and capability development, workplace stress is not just a learning topic that needs to be addressed in their
At a breakfast seminar attended by senior managers from some of Australia’s leading corporations and government
“Exposure to workplace stressors affects 25% of working women and 18% of working men” -- VicHealth
When we asked how stressed people felt at the start of their working day, more than half of our audience said they felt “somewhat” or “very” stressed. That’s about twice the rate reported by a 2012 VicHealth evidence review of workplace stress!
Half the audience also said they’d taken days off in the previous year because of stress. That lines up with the statistics for Australian workplaces. A study by Medibank Private found that Australian workers took an average of 3.2 days a year off because of stress. The cost is enormous -- it accounts for as much as 40% of employee turnover and 60% of absenteeism.
In the right amount, stress can be good for us
It’s not all bad. Stress can be helpful in the modern workplace. Psychologists point out that “healthy” stress keeps us focused and motivates us to achieve our goals. In our high-performance culture, that can make us more successful. The downside is that without giving people the skills to cope with stress, it comes at a price. Harvard researchers found that 75 to 90% of visits to the doctor are caused by stress.
“We’re currently more stressed than ever, and too much stress can become harmful.” –
Managing stress has immediate payoffs
The keynote speaker at our breakfast seminar was
“Providing employees with effective, evidence-based skills and practices for managing stress has immediate benefits for their work – they’re less tired, more focused and can manage higher workloads with less stress,” said
“In workplaces that employees consider mentally healthy, absenteeism almost halves.” – 2014 Industry Report
A wide-ranging industry report into the State of Workplace Health, conducted in 2014 by TNS Global and
Employees often don’t know that programs exist
One of the challenges
“Up to 35% of employees didn’t know that mental health programs existed or how to access them.” – 2014 Industry Report
Part of the solution is to ensure that programs are designed to empower employees at the personal level. They need to be compelling enough to engage people – to have the individual at heart and not just the bottom line.
Embracing a culture of that promotes a mentally healthy workplace
Programs like Unwind, developed in partnership between Savv-e and Medibio are designed to do just that. Unwind is a self-paced, seven-module stress-management program designed for easy deployment across
This engages both the
“Taking a fifteen-minute power break to grab a shot of caffeine is an accepted part of corporate life, but take a few minutes to sit quietly and meditate, and people think that’s weird.” – Workforce development officer for a large healthcare service provider.
Transforming the culture of today’s highly competitive workplace – where the emphasis is often on performance above all else -- does require a shift in focus. It’s reassuring to see, based on the responses of the management professionals attending our breakfast seminar, that the long-term value of mentally healthy workplaces is starting to get the attention it deserves.
The success of
Giving employees practical skills that can last a lifetime
One of the most satisfying benefits of a program like Unwind is that the skills employees learn carry over into their personal lives. Stress isn’t something we experience from
“Importantly, when employees are able to make better decisions about their wellness needs, this leads to improved physical health, better relationships and greater self-care and self-compassion.” –
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