By Marcus Leach

A report released on Wednesday of this week revealed that stress is, for the first time, the most common cause of long-term sickness absence for both manual and non-manual employees.

This is an issues that, in many cases is neglected, but is a serious threat to employees, as the below letter from Kevin Young, managing director of e-learning provider SkillSoft EMEA, highlights.

Dear editor,

As a wise man once said “You don't get ulcers from what you eat, but from what's eating you." There’s no way to completely eradicate stress in one’s life, which is why it is of no surprise to me that stress has become the most common reason for a worker being signed off with long-term sickness (Stress is number one cause of long-term absence from work, 5th October 2011).

In fact, in our own research into the issue we found that more than 92% of employees were experiencing stress in the workplace, 44% of workers were losing sleep through stress, 34% had a fear of having an increased workload and 31% worried about redundancy.

Organisations need to look closely at their employees and ask themselves if their staff are suffering from stress, and more importantly, why. At a time when costs need to be kept low, productivity levels and quality of work can suffer along with the added cost of providing temporary cover for employees on long-term sick leave. Unfortunately, this all adds up to extra costs for the company.

If organisations want their employees to flourish, work effectively and keep their stress under control, they need to look at the current learning and training options on offer. By giving employees the essential skills to carry out their job roles effectively, businesses can ensure they are working in a positive atmosphere whilst actively combating long-term sick leave.

Kind regards,

Kevin Young

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