Mental Health – Identifying Stress

23 March 2021

As the new measures come into place meaning that some of us cannot go to work or are now back to working from home, we may be wondering when and if ever our normal lives pre-COVID will come back. These new measures and all that we have been through in the last year have pushed many of us to the edge and it is clear that one issue with HR have been dealing with is the mental health aspect of their employees. Even though it is a UK poll it is relevant to note it as mental health issues has hit our shores due to COVID-19  just like the pandemic itself! 

What does the poll say? 

A poll of 2,000 employees carried out by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has revealed that 29% of employees have never had a conversation with their line manager about their mental health. In response to the statistics, MHFA England has urged employers to do more to support their staff’s mental health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, with training for managers and regular wellbeing check-ins advised. Interestingly, a recent poll by Gartner revealed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, 49% of employees had participated in workplace wellbeing programmes when provided.

What next?

Dealing with mental health is always challenging and it is amply clear that COVID-19 has meant that issues surrounding mental health have increased and will not go away. Hence it is important that support is given to your employees on a continuing basis and even though COVD-19 has been a trigger for many this does not mean that it is the only cause. Lives outside work (for example, relationship breakdown, financial worries or bereavement) can lead to stress, or they can compound pressure at work and result in stress.We are listing some possible signs of stress to help you identify stress being experience by your employees: 

Work performanceWithdrawal
Declining or inconsistent performanceArriving late to work
Uncharacteristic errorsLeaving early
Loss of control over workExtended lunches
Loss of motivation or commitmentAbsenteeism
IndecisionResigned attitude
Lapses in memoryReduced social contact
Increased time at workElusiveness or evasiveness
Lack of holiday planning or usage 
RegressionAggressive behaviour
CryingMalicious gossip
ArgumentsCriticism of others
Undue sensitivityVandalism
Irritability or moodinessShouting
Over-reaction to problemsBullying or harassment
Personality clashesPoor employee relations
SulkingTemper outbursts
Immature behaviour