Stress Awareness Week – How can organisations help employees develop resilience?

Written by: Dinah Williams – Head of Social Media and Engagement

This week is International Stress Awareness Week and the theme for this year is: ‘Resilience – the power to succeed’. According to the International Stress Management Association (ISMA UK), 94% of us experience work-related stress and all of us would agree to having experienced some level of stress at work. Work related stress makes up a significant amount of the mental health issues suffered globally, and so as part of International Stress Awareness Week we wanted to look at how organisations can help employees better manage stress and how they can support in helping individuals.

Work and Stress

As many of the situations within a workplace environment can trigger stress, good support around stress management in the workplace is important. Building resilience can help you to adapt to challenging circumstances.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO has said he doesn’t believe in the term “work-life balance”, labelling it a “deliberating phrase” and instead believes that the two should be viewed as a circle – when you’re happier at home, you perform better at work; when you’re happy at work, you’re more present at home.

This may be a great suggestion in theory but in practice, how many employees feel they have the ability be in control, particularly in the workplace? How many of us have felt obliged to respond to emails or calls outside working hours? Feeling as though working outside of contracted hours is mandatory in order to be seen as a ‘team player’ or ‘committed to the job’? Or feeling a lack of control when results are dependent on others?

How organisations can help individuals develop resilience

Taking steps to look after the wellbeing of employees by creating an inclusive environment is proven to drive productivity. Resilience is not just about the ability to bounce back, but also an individual’s capacity to adapt in the face of challenging circumstances, whilst maintaining a stable mental wellbeing. Resilience isn’t a personality trait – it’s something that can be learned, and so the following tips can help organisations to support their employees:

-Ensure employees have clear goals and objectives – these should be mutually agreeable, with the employee having input and regular reviews. This way workload and expectations can be easily identified and understood/ adapted as required

-As well as professional development goals as part of personal development planning, include mindfulness and wellbeing activities too,

-Offer a flexible working environment – but ensure processes are put in place that mean working flexibly is actually achievable – for example, set expectations around response times to emails, put procedures in place to cover urgent work deadlines and ensure review processes allow for the involvement of those that may work part time or out of office hours

-When it comes to employee engagement, listen to employees and show clearly that action is being taken. As part of our platform, out inbuilt engagement tool allows leaders to view real-time data on how their employees are feeling at any given moment and make informed decision based on the mood of the organisation

-Create an environment where people feel that they can be open and honest, encourage support groups

-Use positive feedback and recognition as part of personal development programmes

Our next piece in association with International Stress Awareness Week will be an interview with Clare Wimalasundera, our PR and Marketing Director, who will be talking about real life experiences of stress in the workplace and effective coping mechanisms.

If you feel like you are experiencing stress at work, here are some organisations that may be able to offer support

What we’re talking about

Johanna launched In Diverse Company in 2019 out of a strong belief that there was a better way to create and measure inclusive cultures.

We live by our values, and our approach to our own recruitment policy, team and purpose reflects this. We are a tech company driven by a senior team that are experts in people, with one of the only female CEOs of a HR tech platform across the world.

Our Learning Platform, Include™ is the only LXP that combines Learning and Engagement. Include aims to create more inclusive working cultures and is underpinned by social and behavioural psychology principles.