It’s World Mental Health Day today – every year on 10th October there is a national focus on the mental well being of people. Of course, there is a need for this to be a focus all year round but this day aims to bring mental health to everyone’s attention.

Work related stress can lead to significant illness and is linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover, workplace morale and can lead to issues such as errors, low productivity and workplace disputes.

Work related stress is a key focus of the HSE with it being estimated that over 10 million work days were lost to stress with a cost of over £6 billion.

There is a difference between pressure, or the drive to meet high standards, targets and deadlines and stress which develops because a person is unable to cope with the demands being placed on them.

As an employer you have the right to expect people to work hard and to high standards, but you also have a responsibility to ensure that the work demands are not unreasonable and leading to stress. It isn’t in your best interests to have a highly stressed workforce.

So how do you manage this fine balance? The HSE have produced 6 management standards aimed at reducing the primary causes of work related stress. It is well worth a look and consideration of how you could apply these in your business.

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