Gallup’s annual State of the Global Workplace report says, about 60% of employees felt emotionally detached from their jobs last year, while almost a fifth described their time at work as miserable.

In today’s fast-paced and demanding work environment, it is crucial for employers to be vigilant about their employees’ mental health and well-being. Stress in the workplace can have detrimental effects on productivity, employee morale, and ultimately, the success of the organisation. Therefore, it is essential for employers to be able to recognize signs of stress in their staff. In this article, we will discuss five key indicators that can help you identify if your staff is stressed.

1. Increased absenteeism: One of the most apparent signs of stress in employees is an increase in absenteeism. If you notice a rise in unplanned leaves or a surge in calls for sick days, it may indicate that your staff is struggling to cope with work-related stress. It is important to keep track of employee attendance and investigate patterns of absenteeism to address any underlying issues.

2. Decreased productivity: Stress can significantly impact an employee’s ability to focus and perform at their optimal level. Reduced productivity or a decline in the quality of work are strong indicators that your staff is feeling overwhelmed. Look for signs such as missed deadlines, a backlog of unfinished tasks, or an increase in errors or accidents.

3. Changes in behaviour: Stress can lead to noticeable changes in behaviour. Pay attention to any sudden alterations in your employees’ demeanour, such as irritability, mood swings, increased sensitivity, or excessive absenteeism. These changes can indicate that they are experiencing high levels of stress and may require support.

4. Social withdrawal: If an employee begins to retreat from social interactions or isolates themselves from colleagues, it may be a sign of stress. People under significant stress often prefer solitude, as they may find it challenging to engage in conversations or maintain healthy relationships with their co-workers. Take notice if an employee who used to be social suddenly becomes withdrawn.

5. Physical symptoms: Stress can manifest in various physical symptoms. Keep an eye out for signs such as frequent headaches, stomach aches, fatigue, sleep disturbances, or increased susceptibility to illness. These symptoms can be a clear indication that your staff is struggling with stress levels that need to be addressed.

While recognizing these signs is a crucial step in supporting your staff, it is equally important to create an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up about their stress levels. Encourage open communication and provide resources like employee assistance programs or stress management workshops to help alleviate workplace stress. We all know that a healthy and happy workforce is the foundation for a thriving organisation, and its worth coming from a place of preventing stress in the workplace.