Stress Awareness Month: How Credera promotes a healthy workplace culture
Stress is the body’s reaction to feeling overwhelmed or under pressure, and whilst it is not uncommon, it can often feel impossible to speak out if you are struggling. In light of World Health Day on 7th April and to mark the beginning of Stress Awareness Month, let’s talk about the “S” word and what it is that we do to support our staff.
Throughout April, employers, health care professionals, and other individuals unite to shed light on the effects that stress has on people’s everyday wellness and promote a variety of methods to combat it. This is usually carried out through a series of discussion groups, public forums, and community events.
As much of our time is spent in the workplace, it is particularly important for employers to recognise the signs of stress and consider taking steps to reduce causes of work-related stress. If left unaddressed, stress caused by work can leave us feeling isolated, reduce productivity, and lead to performance issues. This, in turn, can have a negative effect our home and working lives.
At Credera, we run a number of initiatives to help tackle the causes of stress and burnout. We are regularly encouraged to take time away from our desks, whether by eating lunch away from our screens, having ‘walk and talk’ meetings, or attending after-work activities such as film nights and candle making to help us unwind. At the end of each working week, we hold a virtual weekly get-together at ‘The Consulting Arms’, which is a free to drop-in session allowing staff to grab a drink and catch up with colleagues before signing off for the weekend.
Not only are we surrounded by open and friendly colleagues who are always happy to lend a listening ear, but a number of our employees are also trained Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA). Our Mental Health First Aiders check in on staff to see how they are coping and allow them to feel heard. We keep an updated list of them on a shared site that is accessible to everyone internally and our people are invited to reach out at any time if they need support.
We recognise that keeping active can be a good way to manage stress, and so our Health and Wellbeing team are always thinking of ways to get people up and out of their seats with a variety of exercise competitions and classes. Previous activities have included virtual runs and races, group cycles, and a month-long health and wellbeing competition designed to keep people happy and motivated during the winter months. Our Health & Wellbeing team regularly remind people of upcoming events that they can get involved in which all help contribute to a healthy work-life balance.
What are the benefits of supporting a culture of mental wellbeing in the workplace?
Promoting a culture of mental wellbeing in the workplace presents a number of different benefits, from better employee engagement and higher staff morale, to creating a genuinely happy and connected workforce. Good mental health helps us to thrive and business leaders are increasingly acknowledging the importance of it. Research studies are continuing to show strong evidence that companies with higher levels of mental health awareness are generally more successful.
Supporting mental wellbeing in the workplace brings with it a culture of openness, allowing people to feel comfortable in expressing themselves without fear of being judged and helping them to speak with people who can empathise and offer their support.
In a nutshell
The past year has been more challenging than ever. We have all had to adjust to working from home, being away from our loved ones, and our usual every day routines have been overthrown. Credera has made it our mission to reach out to staff on a regular basis throughout this time to ask employees how they are getting on at home and understand where we can offer additional support if needed.