The costs of neglecting stress in your business can be high. Stress is sometimes overlooked as a health and safety issue by small businesses. The unexpected absence of just one member of staff can affect productivity, and efforts to secure cover can be costly and time-consuming.
Reducing stress in your business can help prevent some of the following stress-related problems:
- a fall in your productivity and that of your employees
- poor decision-making
- an increase in mistakes which may in turn lead to more customer complaints
- increased sickness absence
- high staff turnover
- poor workplace relations
Stress often has a cumulative effect. If one member of staff becomes ill through stress, it places added pressure on those covering for them.
A stressed manager may find it difficult to create a positive working environment and monitor stress levels in others.
It's also important to tackle any stress you face as an owner-manager or self-employed person. This is often caused by working excessively long hours or from a feeling of isolation.
Your legal duty for stress
Employers have a legal duty to ensure employees aren't made ill by their work. This includes taking steps to prevent physical and mental illness brought about by stress. These steps need not cost a lot of money and the benefits can be significant.
You must assess the risks of stress caused, or made worse, by work as part of your overall health and safety risk assessment. See health and safety risk assessment.
One of the best ways of assessing stress levels in your business is to carry out a stress audit. Find out if stress is a problem for your business.
Failure to take action could leave you open to a compensation claim from workers who fall ill due to work-related stress.