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How Can HR Directors Support Employees in Reducing Psychological Stress At Work?



How Can HR Directors Support Employees in Reducing Psychological Stress At Work

Since the 1833 passage of the Factories Act, worker safety and physical health have become ever more important to UK enterprises.

Psychological stress is important to consider, though, because HR professionals are under more pressure than ever to guarantee the physical and emotional well of their employees.

When you think of “health and safety,” images of hazardous equipment, forklifts, or even workers teetering on a risky ladder usually come to mind. Business has always placed a high priority on physical safety, and strict regulations are already in place to protect workers’ safety at work.

However, the idea of an employee’s psychological needs is far more recent than that of their physical demands, and as a result, neither C-suite executives nor the general workforce are fully aware of them. Consequently, there is growing need on HR professionals to not only comprehend the impacts of psychological stress but also to know how to successfully handle it.

It is impossible to overstate how important this is. According to data from 2022, 55% of employees feel that their jobs are becoming more demanding, and 13.7 million working days are missed annually as a result of stress, anxiety, and depression related to the workplace, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. It is understandable why an increasing number of HR professionals are searching for ways to manage the psychological safety of their workers, given that this costs UK PLC £28.3 billion annually.

What then does managing mental health in the workplace entail? a sustained effort, instruction, and ongoing development.

How then can HR departments start moving forward?

First and foremost, it’s critical to recognize the gravity of workplace psychological wellbeing and the common stressors.

Six categories can be used to classify the most prevalent causes of workplace stress:







A closer look reveals that these triggers can range from intense workloads and work environments, workplace cultures, career advancement, and our working relationships, to more subtle ones like role clarity, work values conflicting with personal beliefs, organizational change, isolation and exclusion, and outside pressures. A poor work/life balance is the main trigger, albeit it can result from any combination of the above-mentioned stressors.

The next step after realizing these truths is to accept that different people are affected by pressures in various ways. HR specialists are aware that everyone of us has unique stress management strategies, tolerance thresholds, and restrictions. Each employee is unique and has been influenced by a range of outside factors that may increase or decrease their vulnerability to stress.

Subject workers, including those with disabilities, older and younger workers, as well as new and expecting parents, are the most prone to stress. Another element is gender; women are more likely to experience stress at work.

Taking this into consideration, what steps can HR professionals take?

Beyond admitting its presence and identifying its causes, the first step in treating workplace stress is providing HR departments with training support so they can efficiently create and implement a functional system of support for employees.

Once you have a good grasp of the principles, you need to get the leadership of your organization to truly buy into it. When creating a new system for their company, HR experts should evaluate how much emphasis is currently placed on stress management in the company’s policy statement. Establishing a steering committee is also a good idea if you want to keep your efforts motivated.

Following a thorough assessment of the company’s unique risk factors, the next steps are to assign long-term tasks, prioritize and organize immediate victories, and, most crucially, share your strategy with the rest of the organization.

In order to make a lasting impact, HR professionals must make sure that a culture of open communication is created and maintained, where problems are identified and addressed using a solution-focused strategy.


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