If customers called or visited your business and nobody responded, how much would you lose?

The total number of cases of work related stress and depression in 2015/2016 was 488,000 cases, a prevalence rate of 1,510 per 100,000 workers in Great Britain.

The number of new cases was 224,000, an incidence rate of 690 per 100,000. The estimated number and rate have remained broadly flat for more than a decade.

This is the latest estimate from the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

Anxiety and stress are the most common reasons to be off work because of illness, accounting for more than a third of national absences, an official study has found.

Just to show the cumulative effect – more than 45 million working days have been lost due to stress, anxiety, and depression in the past three years.

You can use these statistics to draw your own conclusions on absenteeism and the reasons for it – either people in your business or yourself. To complete the picture, consider your business and how much work was not done because of staff absences, how behind you were because of it… and how much the loss was in monetary terms.

Absenteeism is a habitual pattern of absence from a duty or obligation. Traditionally, absenteeism has been viewed as an indicator of poor individual performance, and often was seen as a management problem. Today as the result of extensive research absenteeism is perceived as an indicator of psychological, medical, or social adjustment to work.

Taking into consideration a few major factors and addressing them with personnel can reduce stress and increase mental toughness:

Stress and low morale – heavy workload, constant deadlines, stressful presentations or meetings. Personal stress outside work and feeling of not being appreciated.  Addressing the issues on the outset, empowering your employees with the set of skills to manage the stress in the challenging situation will boost morale and create a better culture. Working with the team of people, appreciating each other’s strengths, and using them to the business advantage is a winning combination.

Change is another strong factor to cause a stress and consequently absenteeism. Unforeseen circumstances and uncertainties can make people feel insecure. Communication during any change stage is vital, just explaining what is going on, giving information as fully as possible during the whole change process gives people confidence and keeps the trust.

 Disengagement – lack of motivation as the result of being too stressed or losing belief in oneself. Feeling powerless to change anything and avoiding it altogether. Helping employees to boost their personal confidence, giving them the skills to eliminate stress on personal level, and acknowledging their values could help to increase their motivation.

Poor leadership is closely connected with disengagement. The lack of commitment can be caused by lack of job satisfaction and motivation. If employee has responsibility within the organisation, which will empower him/her, hence creating the feeling of being important for the success of the company, it will create a strong collaborative culture.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “People don’t get ill from stress because they are weak but because employers aren’t doing enough to remove or control its causes. Much more needs to be done to stop bosses treating their staff like machines. It’s in no one’s interests to have stressed out workforces. People who experience high anxiety are less productive and are more likely to take time off.”

Experience and research show that by applying a coaching mindset to employees, company culture can be improved by creating a more collaborative, understanding, and thriving environment. It has been proven that people then communicate in a more trustworthy manner, taking into consideration each other’s values, being more confident within the team and inspiring each other.