Mental health and work-related stress are the leading causes of long and short-term absence in most organisations. Work-Related stress has led to a significant increase in mental health disorders. A majority of the organisations have launched various initiatives to mitigate the proliferation of workplace absenteeism. However, few organisations have designed effective and applicable measures that lower work-related stress issues. Employees working in corporations are likely to experience more work-related stress than their colleagues working in small and medium-sized organisations. Besides, the high social and economic costs have worsened the prevalence of mental health conditions among the working class population. In the past decade, most of the workers have strived to augment their net income. As a result, employees have opted to increase their workload as a viable option to counter the effects of high living standards that were worsened by economic crises. However, the increased workload remains the primary factor that amplifies workplace stress and mental health diseases among workers. Organisations should endorse significant action plans that will integrate sustainable strategies that minimise mental health and work-related stress issues.
The UK Department of Health claims that most of the workers are susceptible to suffering from mental illness at some stage in their life. According to the 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, nearly 20% of the working class persons in England are likely to have a mental health disorder before their retirement (Health and Safety Executive, 2018, p.3). For instance, in 2017, the mental health problems are projected to have led to the UK incurring almost PS99 billion in its annual medical expenses. The aggregate organisational medical expenses were roughly PS42 billion of the gross medical expenses that were equivalent to each employee spending about PS1,560 in the entire UK labour force (Health and Safety Executive, 2018, p.5). Consequently, firms spend nearly PS8 billion to replace their employees who are incapable of executing their obligations due to work-related stress and mental health conditions. For that reason, every company is affected by the mental health and work-related stress problems among their staff, and addressing the issue enhances the chances of establishing a viable solution.
Managing Mental Health and Work-Related Stress
Staying Well at Work Service depicts a holistic programme that offers personalised support, guidance, and coaching to a workforce experiencing stress and mental wellbeing issues. Organisations prefer using post and pre-service questionnaires to evaluate their wellbeing after and before using the Staying Well at Work programme. It consists of the core questionnaire that is characterised by a 34-item assessment tool that gauges different psychological distress aspects (Whitmore et al., 2018, p.12). The Staying Well at Work initiative incorporates a 34-item scale that measures different psychological distress aspects. Additionally, it integrates the Health and Safety Executive Management Standards Indicator Tool to exemplify several questions associated with the causes of work-related stress. The company relies on the approach's feedback obtained from unstructured organisational surveys and post-event feedback analysis to ascertain its efficiency. Staying Well at Work Service depends on digital platforms that enable the administration to explore the employees' feedback to enhance the implementation of the programme (Center for Advancing Health, 2014, para.4). The management intends to integrate a mindfulness programme and computerised cognitive behavioural therapy to obtain systematic and formal data from their staff members. The integration of such innovative techniques should enhance the identification of employees with mental health and work-related stress easily. Strengths and Weaknesses of Staying Well at Work Program
The Staying Well at Work Service is a relatively cheap and cost-effective wellbeing program since it utilises the resources readily available in the workplace. Therefore, the administration regulates the program's cost. For instance, the health intervention program offers a company low-cost and efficient strategies that handle work-related stress concerns (Whitmore et al., 2018, p.13). Additionally, it advocates for a shared medical payment system between the employees and employers to facilitate the treatment of the work-related stress and mental health conditions.
The health and wellbeing program supports and acknowledges the Occupational Health and Safety guidelines. According to the Health and Safety Executive (2018), Occupational Health and Safety is a mandatory legislative policy that should be prioritised in any workplace (p.8). As a result, the Staying Well at Work Service supports and reinforces the Occupational Health and Safety rules to promote workplace wellbeing. The integration of the Staying Well at Work initiative contributes to the accomplishment of Occupational Health and Safety results nationally.
The Staying Well at Work initiative is an effective program since it is managed within an organisation. The line supervisors identify the significant work-related stress and mental health issues that should be addressed using the program. Consequently, the programme has to be reviewed regularly to re-align the approach used to address the concerns and ensure that the personnel delegate the duty handles the issues effectively (Prothero, 2016, p.121). However, the Staying Well at Work program integrates external health experts when the company has identified specific mental health and stress conditions that it lacks the required experience or skills to mitigate the problem. For example, if external health specialists are incorporated, they should facilitate the program rather than control it. Therefore, the consultation between employees and employers should stipulate the decision-making process of the Staying Well at Work program.
The program encompasses voluntary staff participation to attain high participation outcomes. All aspects of the Staying Well at Work initiative is executed on a voluntary approach. For example, the requirement of compulsory health assessments as a critical aspect of the selection process is not part of the well-being and health program. Consequently, the workers are not marginalised if they are unwilling to participate in the health assessment program (Franco-Santos and Doherty, 2017, p.2326). However, the employees are permitted to provide feedback on effective strategies that help in resolving work-related stress and mental health concerns. The updates of the Staying Well at Work program integrate the employee's reviews to help in increasing their participation levels.
The Staying Well at Work program utilises a categorisation method that relies on a study-specific analysis on the workplace health intervention. Hence, the participants' submissions are not based on an analytical evaluation of the Theory of Change (Whitmore et al., 2018, p.8). The extent and quality of the data obtained from the participants vary consistently. Most of the submissions might provide inadequate information that does not guarantee a correct categorisation verdict. Hence, a candid wellbeing intervention might be neglected as a result.
If the management opts to use a case study approach to address the mental health and workplace-stress concerns, it will have to use information from the Staying Well at Work program obtained from third parties. For instance, the evaluations and data collected might be limited to their limitations that were considered during the review process (Franco-Santos and Doherty, 2017, p.2321). Conversely, organisational constraints might differ. Therefore, a company has to initiate a customised categorisation process that depicts its health findings.
The Staying Well at Work initiative relies on the evidence provided by participants. Therefore, its health intervention approach depends on self-reported data. The self-reported information might be unreliable if the firm seeks to obtain a general outlook on the prevalence of mental health and work-related stress issues. Some of the participants might give incorrect feedback that leads to deceptive and negative outcomes. As a result, the scope of study adopted by the Staying Well at Work program does not guarantee an independent verification process on the data obtained from the respondents (Whitmore et al., 2018, p.8). Therefore, some of the organisational strategies endorsed to address the mental health and work-related stress problems might be ineffective in resolving the concerns.
Relevant Health and Workplace Legislation Policy
The voluntary wellbeing and health programs being established in firms should complement the Occupational Health and Safety objectives outlined by the Health and Safety at Work Act. The House and Safety Executive aim at increasing productivity and efficiency by compelling companies to develop organisational cultures that improve, support, and value employees' wellbeing(Health and Safety Executive, 2018, p.9). Therefore, the Occupational Health and Safety rules have been enacted to help firms comply with their obligation to establish workplace wellbeing and health programs stipulated by their ministerial requirements.
The randomised controlled tests associated with the Staying Well at Work initiative have revealed a positive impact on the work-related stress. The Staying Well at Work program has lowered the workers' vulnerability on developing mental health disorders. It is an eight-week stress management program that seeks to minimise workplace stress, anxiety, and depression. The Stating Well as Work intervention programme is founded on the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy principles, problem-solving, mindfulness, and positive psychology (Pescud et al., 2015, p.647). It consists of almost seven major and three extra modules. It is mainly a self-help programme that can be supplemented with technical e-coaching support. The users can opt to complete questionnaires that provide in-depth analysis of their treatment process. The Staying Well at Work Service can be customised into a standard format that can be accessed by every worker through their online organisational platform. An independent assessment as revealed positive change on the line supervisor's perceived obligation on handling the mental health concerns and raising awareness on the work-related stress.
Areas of Delivery
The Staying Well at Work program aims to improve three fundamental aspects to promote their service delivery ventures. Firstly, the wellbeing program shall not undermine the provision of a conducive work environment. It is an important health priority that organisations should comply with as an essential requirement under their safety and health policies. Secondly, the critical planning or updating stages of the Staying Well at Work intervention should prioritise consultation with an Occupational Health and Safety specialist (Goh et al., 2015, p.46). Lastly, Staying Well at Work initiative should outline issues that are perceived as workplace hazards that enhance the work-related stress and mental health conditions.
Most of the workers spend more than 50% of their time at their workplace. Therefore, a workplace has a significant impact on the employees' health (Carolan, Harris and Cavanagh, 2017, p.145). For instance, the nature of tasks, physical environment, organisational structure, and culture have a substantial effect on the workers' living conditions and lifestyle choices. The Staying Well at Work program prioritises healthy workplace practices to develop strategies that catered to the contentious...
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