If one of your colleagues breaks a leg then there is sufficient evidence that there is something wrong and s/he may need a helping hand. However Stress is invisible and suffers usually suffer alone.  If a colleague is stressed at home due to a relationship breakdown or bereavement, s/he will bring those feelings to work but may choose not to talk about them.  How then can you tell if someone is suffering from stress?

If the work climate is stressful then it may be easier to talk about  but some people worry more than others, some people cope better than others so how can you tell who is coping and who is not?

WORK PERFORMANCE

  • Reduction in output or productivity.
  • Increase in wastage and error rates.
  • Poor decision making.
  • Deterioration in planning and control of work.

STAFF ATTITUDE & BEHAVIOUR

  • Loss of motivation and commitment.
  • Staff working increasingly long hours but for diminishing returns.
  • Erratic or poor timekeeping.

RELATIONSHIPS AT WORK

  • Tension and conflict between colleagues.
  • Changes in mood or behaviour.
  • Irritable and snappy.
  • Poor relationships with clients.
  • Increase in industrial relations or disciplinary problems.

SICKNESS ABSENCE

  • Increase in overall sickness absence, in particular frequent short periods of absence.

PRESENTEEISM

  • Turning up for work when unwell for fear of losing job.