National Stress Awareness Day is 6th November. The HR Dept is highlighting that small business owners can often be left frustrated by errant employees using stress as an excuse to avoid facing up to an issue the employer has raised and wants to deal with.
The HR Dept has seen an increase in the amount of calls it receives from small business owners on how to deal with staff that are signed off with stress, but are perfectly fine prior to the employer raising a performance or disciplinary matter.
It becomes frustrating for the employer because there is now a barrier to dealing with the original situation. Naturally it makes the employer nervous of what steps they can take when someone is either away from the workplace, or refusing to keep in contact with their employer. It may also make employers wary of trusting employees who are genuinely stressed.
Employees should keep in touch with their employer when signed off. These situations often compound themselves: the issue has to be addressed but the employee has signed off with stress regarding the original issue.
The HR Dept: “This is a common occurrence. Issues are raised to an employee who may be underperforming, which can generate stress causing the employee to get signed off. It seems illogical to avoid addressing the issue, and it exacerbates the situation further because the problem is going to have to be faced at some point.”
Naturally business owners and managers should never ignore the signs of stress especially where concerns are raised by employees. “Simple techniques like revaluating the workload and providing extra support can relieve stress levels.The key is managing these scenarios to ensure they don’t have a lasting impact on your business or workforce.
“There’s a duty of care to all employees, but an employer can’t be expected to wave a magic wand and the stressful situation will disappear. They can, however, support and find practical ways to help an employee cope.”
The HR Dept supports small and medium sized businesses dealing with HR and employment issues.