The biggest signs of workplace stress you need to watch out for

Gavin Scarr Hall - Director of Health and Safety

July 05 2022

Work-related stress can seriously bring down morale, productivity, and the health of your staff. You have to address stress - or it will continue to fester until your workers reach boiling point. Then, you’ve got even more issues on your hands. Burnout. Resignations. Constructive dismissal claims…

That’s when the stress latches onto you.

Before you can take steps to manage stress in the workplace, first you need to identify it. So, here are five tell-tale signs your staff are feeling the pressure.

1. Poor performance

If staff are under a lot of stress, it might start to show in their work. They might fail to meet targets, the quality of their work might decrease, or they might keep making mistakes. This is a typical response of a worker who is struggling to manage their workload or lacking in self-confidence.

Your worker might not feel comfortable speaking up about their struggles. So, instead they keep quiet and suffer in silence. Ultimately, this is likely to lead to burnout and have a negative effect on the rest of the team.

2. Absences

When staff experience high levels of work-related stress, they might start taking more time off work. Stress can have a big impact on physical and mental health. So, if your worker has been taking a lot of sick days lately or they’re failing to turn up without saying, they might be dealing with work-related stress.

Ease staff stress with EAP

Peninsula’s EAP services include 24/7 advice, counselling and a host of online wellbeing tools to help your workers stay happy and healthy.

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3. Withdrawal

Staff might not be taking time off work but if they’re overwhelmed with stress, it’s common to see signs of withdrawal behaviour. You can usually tell when your worker is withdrawing if:

  • they seem unenthused by the work
  • they’re arriving late/leaving early
  • they don’t contribute to meetings
  • they isolate themselves from others
  • they’re not interested in progressing

Stressed staff will generally have low job satisfaction. The pair go hand in hand. If your worker isn’t happy and feels they’re under too much pressure, it will likely reach a point where they lose engagement and motivation.

4. Emotional reactions

Instead of withdrawing, your staff might have the opposite reaction to stress. They might become overly emotional, sensitive, and even tearful at work. Stress puts people under a lot of mental and emotional pressure, which can lead to sufferers feeling irritable, sad, angry, and anxious.

Usually, when staff feel overwhelmed and unable to cope, this triggers heightened emotional reactions. If you notice staff seem uncomfortable, upset or snappy with colleagues, they might be dealing with workplace stress.

5. High staff turnover

There’s only so much stress staff can take before they decide enough is enough. If your worker feels they can’t handle the demands of their role, they’re likely to start searching for other opportunities.

Workplace stress can easily carry over into someone’s personal life. So, if staff are feeling pressure from all angles, and they don’t feel they’re getting the support they need, they might feel they have no choice but to leave the company.

Don’t less stress impede your success

Now you know how to spot signs of stress, Peninsula can help you reduce it.

You might not be aware staff are struggling if they aren’t open about it. Which is why it’s important to have regular-check ins that give your workers the opportunity to raise any grievances. You should also make sure to manage staff workloads effectively and have processes in place that ensure day-to-day running goes smoothly.

Fortunately, as a Peninsula client, you have access to 24/7 advice to help you stay safe and successful. You benefit from a host of CPD-certified online training resources to help you sharpen your management skills, boost staff retention and protect your business from legal risk.

On top of that, your staff also have access to Peninsula’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which provides 24/7 well-being resources and counselling to support them through their greatest life challenges.

Got a staff issue on your hands? Your HR advisers are just a call away to help you get back on track.

And if you’re not yet a Peninsula client, give us a call on 0800 028 2420 to discover unlimited HR and health & safety support. 

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