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Corporate Resilience_TÜV Rheinland Academy Life Care

Corporate Resilience: Stress stay away!

Your employees are constantly stressed and frequently ill? Then it is high time to focus on corporate resilience. Here you can find out how.

Agile, flexible, “always-on”: The age of digitization demands a lot from employees. One person gets along well with it, the other feels increasingly stressed by the dynamics and in the worst-case becomes ill. To prevent this, companies should work on their corporate resilience. But what does that mean in concrete terms?

There are people who flourish under great stress: The report was actually due yesterday? No problem. The customer visit was brought forward at short notice? Then the other dates have to be moved as well. Anyone who really gets going under high pressure has a high level of resilience – and is therefore well-prepared for the digital age.

However, the growing flood of information, constant restructuring, shortened innovation cycles, and increasing work density are causing massive problems for many employees. This is shown, among other things, by the ever-increasing number of mental illnesses: According to the DAK Psycho report, the number of sick days due to psychological complaints tripled between 1997 and 2017.

Resilience can be learned

Fortunately, something can be done about it: resilience can be learned and strengthened – similar to football or table tennis. Because resilience is not a static toolbox of personal characteristics or positive environmental factors, but a variable and multidimensional process, which ideally – like sports training – is designed continuously. In other words, if you train regularly, you can actively strengthen your personal resistance to stress. And also master stressful job situations calmly.

For this reason alone, companies should put the issue of corporate resilience on their agenda. This includes first of all thoroughly analyzing and – wherever possible – optimizing the resilience constellations in management levels, departments and teams. Important: The focus should not be on pathogenesis but on salutogenesis. In concrete terms: Instead of just asking what made someone sick or threatened to make them sick, the main thing is to find out what can keep them healthy. Preventive approaches to occupational health management therefore attempt not only to work on deficits but also to build on the strengths of an employee. Occupational medical or industrial and organizational psychological (I/O psychology) analyses help.

The role model function of management

The linchpin of corporate resilience is management. The mental health of the entire workforce cannot be separated from the personal resilience of individual superiors. After all, managers are role models on the one hand and stress factors on the other – for example, when a project manager sends instructions to his team at midnight. The message at untimely times burdens employees twice: digitally in the evening and in the office the next day. The consequences are often loss of quality, dissatisfaction and increasing sick leave. This makes it all the more important for the executive floor to put its own resilience competence to the test first and foremost.

In addition to the management’s resilience check, it is also important to modernize the mindset of corporate culture – for example, by dealing with mistakes in an open, transparent and solution-oriented manner. This contributes not only to quality improvements but also to higher employee satisfaction. Last but not least, corporate resilience should be anchored as a strategic initiative with the necessary resources throughout the company as well as the corporate goals. This is the only way to ensure that the topic is permanently embedded in the collective consciousness of employees and management.

Relaxed employees are more productive

And that is important: because employee satisfaction increases in parallel with the company’s resilience. Those who experience their boss as balanced, confident, communicative and loyal will be less ill. According to the AOK Absenteeism Report 2018, a resilient employee is absent for an average of 9.4 days a year – only about half as much as employees who constantly feel stressed. Find out how you can develop the resilience competencies of your managers and employees through intervention and training approaches – with TÜV Rheinland.

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In 48 hours to more employee health

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stress is one of the greatest health threats of the 21st century. It can hit anyone and cause massive mental and physical problems. For this reason alone, employers should find the right way to deal with stress in the workplace early on and consistently, and support employees as needed. Find out how well this works.

Psychological stress at the workplace is increasing. As a result, the health insurance funds in Germany alone have been recording a steady increase in stress-related sick leave for years. Of about 15 days of absence per capita and year, an average of 2.5 days are currently spent on psychological complaints. According to a recent survey, one in five workers across Europe is under stress every day and one in three is thinking about moving to a less stressful job.

Stress costs the economy billions

Mental illnesses also cost the economy dearly. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the economic costs of mental illness in the European Union (EU) alone amount to around 600 billion Euros annually. Especially since many countries now even prescribe the risk assessment of psychological stress at the workplace by law. Workplace health management therefore pays off for companies in every respect. But not every professional requirement is detrimental to health. Thus, stress in moderation can also encourage higher performance, promote personal development and give positive impulses for the quality of life and work. It is therefore crucial for companies to recognize at an early stage what strains have negative impacts on the workforce and its motivation.

Facts decide

But how can well-founded insights be gained beyond the subjective statements of employees? With the Resilience Check, TÜV Rheinland for the first time offers a program that objectifies the subjectively felt physical and mental stress of employees on the basis of reliable measured values – from heart health to sleep quality and recovery to general fitness. The resilience check provides companies with an instrument for realistically assessing the physical effects of stress on the workforce – and initiating long-term, needs-based preventive measures. This makes it a useful addition to risk assessment and becomes a valuable element of occupational health and safety and health management.

Determine individual stress factors

On the one hand, the individual employee benefits. After the online questionnaire on the physical condition (e.g. high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, sleep quality) and psychological condition (work-related behavior and experience pattern) in the context of their work has been completed, a chest strap measurement is carried out. On two ideal working days, different vital data on heart health, sleep quality, stress and physical activity are measured using a sensor that is attached to the skin like a plaster under the breast. A personal health report is automatically delivered at the end of the measurement. On the other hand, the company receives an anonymous company report for the targeted planning of company prevention measures: With simple anonymized comparison values across e.g. departments or locations, focal points for action are prioritized.

A classic win-win situation: employees learn which stress factors particularly motivate or burden them, employers get a holistic picture of the state of health of their own workforce – and can then focus on health prevention. For example, by realigning work processes, planning additional resources or designing offers for occupational health prevention in a target-group-specific manner, whether health advice, planning measures or introducing a holistic occupational health management system. Learn more about how you can optimize your workplace health management:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/1667794604145327885 (German only)

 

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