£28 billion a year is the estimate by The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) of the cost to UK businesses caused by work related stress. This is the equivalent to 25 per cent of total sick leave or 13 million working days.
NICE have argued that implementing a series of straightforward, inexpensive measures could help reduce workplace stress and its effects on employees. NICE claim that this could cut absenteeism and lost productivity by as much as a third. Some of these simple measures include:
- Offering employees positive feedback on their efforts
- granting staff the chance to work flexibly
- rewarding workers with extra days off
Professor Cary Cooper, a psychologist from Lancaster University who was involved in the report, said: "You cannot underestimate the importance of saying 'well done' to staff, but so often it does not happen. Managers will tell you when you are doing something wrong, but not when you are doing it right.