Stress, Wellness and the Quest for Profits
3rd August 2017
Profits are understandably the main focus of any business, whether your passion is your product/service or not. Without profit, you have no business.
With one in six workers experiencing depression, anxiety or stress at an estimated cost of £26bn to the UK economy, stress-and wellness have never been more important to business success.
Whether the problem manifests in absenteeism or presenteeism (at work but not productive), the business suffers. Profits thrive best in an environment where performance and productivity are optimal. That can only happen where employees are stress-resilient, healthy, clear-thinking, optimistic and supported. It is easy for a sufferer to hide behind a sea of activity but in time deadlines will be missed, deals lost, lines crossed, customer service will suffer and teamwork will erode.
So it makes sense that stress and wellness are high on your priorities. No-one is immune and it is often the highest performers who are most at risk because they push themselves so hard. This is definitely not the kind of problem you want to ignore. Why? Apart from those already mentioned, it also puts your business at risk of legal action if it is found that appropriate steps have not been taken to safeguard the wellbeing of your employees.
And then there is the risk to your brand – that’s something you can’t put a price on.
There’s no question that taking care of your employees is taking care of business.
Following are a few of the early warning signs you can look out for (in yourself and those reporting to you):
- More errors being made
- Greater resistance to change
- Increase in interpersonal tensions
- Rise in absenteeism
- Timelines being missed
- Reduction in office banter
- Less tolerance
- More withdrawn
- More forgetful
- Other changes in behaviour such as tearfulness, more cigarette breaks, eating more junk food, alcohol on breath, laughter which seems forced, appearing vacant or shut down during conversations, being more negative or cynical
In these lean and mean times, it is tempting to take a hard line but that is likely to exacerbate the problem. Stress is contagious, so if you are stressed, it’s really difficult for that not to be felt by those working for you, no matter how hard you try to hide it. That can create fear which brings, you guessed it, more stress. And the link between stress and wellness is clear: IBS, headaches, migraines, immune-related issues and more.
Training your management team on how to identify and manage people who are at risk will certainly help. Teaching your employees how to become more stress-resilient will improve profitability, loyalty and the not-to-be underestimated atmosphere in the office.
Tricia Woolfrey is a consultant, coach, trainer and the developer of the A-HEAD for Success 5D Coaching Program for individuals, teams and businesses. She is also author of Ultimate Energy: From tired to inspired. Contact her on 0345 130 0854 www.a-headforsuccess.co.uk . Your bottom line will thank you.
© Tricia Woolfrey 2017