According to the recent CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work Report in conjunction with Simply Health, issued last month, the focus on wellbeing at work is increasing. Over half of those surveyed (68%) agreed that wellbeing is on the agenda of the senior leadership team, but there was still a concern that activity is reactive rather than proactive and that line managers are still not getting the necessary training to feel confident managing situations.

29% of those who listed stress as a top cause of absence are still not taking any steps to address it and only half felt that conversations about mental health were encouraged. The number of people who said that mental ill health was the primary cause of long-term absence had increased from 13% to 22% in just two years.

The main causes of stress and mental ill health were deemed to be workload, management style and organisational change. 48% of the public-sector organisations surveyed said that stress-related absence had increased in the last year while 67% said mental health conditions had increased. So, what can be done to help. Here are some of SAM’s top tips:

  • Train staff in having conversations about mental health and stress management – see our blog for more detail
  • Encourage discussions about workloads – three fifths of people work outside of contracted hours to get the work done.
  • Communicate your absence policy so everyone knows where the stand
  • Increase organisational awareness of the value of a healthy workforce – this was a key point from the CIPD report
  • Track trends and identify where possible those experiencing stress or mental ill health early
  • Offer occupational support such as external medical assessments or counselling
  • Monitor attendance by department and line manager so any issues which may be management-related can be looked into.
  • Conduct regular reviews and surveys to monitor staff wellbeing.
  • Consider reasonable adjustments where possible, you can find out more in our blog
  • Make sure your leaders are aware of the process they should follow if they become aware of an issue.
  • Make sure you have a wellbeing strategy in place.

It was recognised in the CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work Report, that having a structured approach to wellbeing bought great benefits including:

  • Better morale and engagement 43%
  • Healthier and inclusive culture 39%
  • Lower sickness absence 31%
  • Improved productivity 20%

You can download our summary infographic of the report here. If you would like help with wellbeing, stress management, occupational support or training, please get in touch. SAM software monitors and analyses absence by department, term and line manager. It can identify trends earlier allowing you to better support staff and reduce days absent. Just ask for a free demo if you are not already benefiting from SAM’s great features. Call 01924 907319 and our team will be happy to help.

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