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Bosses told to tackle work stress

5th November 2009

Government health advisers have urged companies to pay closer attention to the levels of stress and anxiety in the workplace as the cost of work-related mental illness soars to £28bn a year.

anxiety

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said that was 25% of the UK’s total sickness bill when pay, lost productivity and replacing ill staff was taken into account.

Highlighting that bad managers were the single biggest cause of problem, NICE said some simple steps could help reduce the scale of the issues by a third.

These include giving feedback, allowing flexible working and giving extra days off as a reward as well as better training for managers and mentoring for staff to help career development.

Lancaster University psychology expert Professor Cary Cooper, who helped draw up the recommendations, said: "You cannot underestimate the importance of saying well done to staff, but so often it does not happen.

"Managers will tell you when you are doing something wrong, but not when you are doing it right."

NICE has devised a calculator to illustrate savings companies could make with an improved approach to staff. A typical sized firm with 1,000 workers could save £25,000, it said.

Professor Cooper said another problem was people still going to work when they were not fit to and not contributing while they were in the workplace.

However, the Confederation of British Industry said the mental health of staff was something firms had made a priority with a growing number of schemes set up to support workers.

 

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Article Information

Title: Bosses told to tackle work stress
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 13149
Date Added: 5th Nov 2009

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