Incentive and motivation tips for reducing workplace stress

Do you want to reduce absenteeism, boost staff morale, effectively engage your people and increase productivity and efficiency?

The wisest organisations are conscious that they are strongest and most effective when they have a happy, healthy and productive workforce. Stress, including work related stress, can often be the cause of illness and is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence. According to the HSE, last year 11.7 million working days were lost due to stress, anxiety and depression. Diagnosing the reasons behind staff absence and presenteeism will enable you to develop a strategy for improving employee wellbeing and establishing a more resilient workforce.

The Stress Management Society is the UK’s leading authority on stress in the workplace. It is a non-profit organisation that offers practical help and advice on managing stress. Recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in this field, it counts Allianz, the NHS, Mars and Crown Commercial Services amongst its many clients. They have offered organisations four helpful tips to help navigate workplace wellbeing.

  1. It all begins with diagnosis

Before you can even begin to put a plan in place, it is critical to understand the causes of stress within your organisation. It is only when you understand those causes and how they impact your organisation’s performance, that you can invest in the right areas to mitigate the effects. It is for this reason that the Stress Management Society offers all businesses a free consultation to see how they should begin the diagnosis. By identifying the nature, location and extent of stress problems, employers can focus resources on where they are most needed.


  1. Establish a clear plan of action

Once the causes of stress have been diagnosed, the next step is to develop an action plan to tackle the issues causing stress. In order to implement a strategy around culture change and embed a wellbeing culture, the plan should look at responsibilities at a leadership, management and individual level. The plan should also include a review of support resources and policies, addressing any leadership needs and organising additional training. In a recent survey conducted by the Stress Management Society over 32% of respondents weren’t sure if their workplace provided them with the resources to deal with their stress.


  1. Equip your managers to help

Managers must be sure of how to promote wellbeing at work and to recognise when stress is having a negative effect. Acting as a first line of support to employees, they play a key role in ensuring that organisational objectives are met. Without adequate training, your managers will be ill-equipped to handle the barriers that stress and poor mental health can create. It is for this reason that clients of the Stress Management Society often include the Managers Managing Stress course as part of their action plan.


  1. It is all about longevity

Working on stress management is not a ‘tick box’ exercise. It should be an enabler for business and process improvement with short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. It follows therefore that there should be elements of monitoring, evaluation, improvement and feedback as part of your wellbeing strategy and that to really embed cultural change in your organisation responsibility needs to be shared across the leadership team, line managers and individual employees.

For more information on The Stress Management Society, including the free business consultation or training courses including Managers Managing Stress and Train Your Trainer, please go to There are also a host of free resources for individuals on managing stress available at