In the right amounts, pressure can help to sustain motivation, improve individual performance and drive results at work. But when employees lack the support to manage and control excessive pressure, it can quickly escalate to unmanageable levels of stress. If left unaddressed, this can lead to longer term problems that are harder to reverse.
Across the UK we know that common mental conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression are a growing problem. It's now estimated that one in four people will experience some sort of mental health problem during their lifetime, and one in six employees will experience a common mental health problem at any one time.
What are you engaging people for? Engagement as a quest has lost its way; it has become separated from its original purpose, becoming an end in itself rather than a means to an end. Engagement needs a business focus, currently engagement seems to be for the sake of it rather than engagement to deliver a business result.
It makes sense that a happy, healthy workforce is a productive one. But, just offering great benefits such as private medical insurance, gym membership or Income Protection without employees being aware of it doesn't promote wellbeing and financial security at work. You need to communicate them effectively to staff to see a real return on investment.
A company culture is often created by a single person: the company founder. It is a set of values and behaviours that employees are asked to buy into in order to be successful at that company. If "done well" the company culture can bring many benefits. A positive company culture gives clients and customers a strong brand to identify with; it helps employees understand what success and achievement looks like, and gives them clear goals.
Coming from a family where my mum has always the breadwinner, it is perhaps not surprising that I automatically see the role of women in the workplace as critical. I cringe in horror that she was once told she couldn't make a purchase without my Dad's authority and yet, in living my own life (including a stint in Corporate!) I really did think things had changed.
At the recent launch of new guidance on mental health at work, Health Minister Earl Howe said: "A good working environment is crucial for our wellbeing." But, with three or four generations of people in the workplace - all with different needs and working styles - how can employers create the right environment for everyone?