02/04/2014 12:05 pm ET Updated Apr 06, 2014

Keep Calm and Solve Your Stress

The New Year is upon us and we are all trying to cling desperately to our New Year's resolutions; from the achievable to the ones that we can only hope to stick to. The New Year is also a time when we start to reflect on our personal lives and our work lives, asking the age old question: "Am I happy?"

Work plays a large part of our lives and being stressed and unhappy to is no way to a) live your life and b) get the most out of a job that you would otherwise enjoy. Our recent research of UK CEOs discovered that stress is one of the main reasons why employees leave a company [1] . Not only does this have an impact on the company's profitability and productivity, it has a huge impact on the employee who may then need to take long-term sick leave.

The problem with stress is that it's not often an issue commonly raised with managers. We let our stress levels build and feel the only way out is to leave and find a new job with another company. But there are steps employees can take to minimize the damage stress can cause.

1. Do tell your line manager

Your line manager is there for this exact reason. This is your opportunity to talk openly to someone you trust in the knowledge that your concerns will be taken seriously. If the stress is caused by job pressures, such as a lack of suitability for a role, inadequate skills or experience or a limited understanding of what is required, your employer is responsible for addressing this and introducing relevant job-related training and time management help so that you can cope.

2. Training can help

Training is an integral part of developing your skills at work and technology has transformed the cost, delivery and range of training available. For example, elearning offers high quality, on-the-job, bite sized and modular training that can be undertaken anytime, anywhere and applied immediately. Your employer has little to lose and very much to gain from helping you alleviate stress by pointing you to the appropriate training. You can also pick and choose when you take up a course. If you have spare moment in the day, it is easy to pick up a course and then leave it until later to complete if you need to get your head down and work.

We should make 'dealing with stress' one of our New Year's resolutions that we actually stick to and work on. Stress can have a real detrimental effect on your long-term health and if addressed as soon as possible, your employers will be able to support you through a potentially turbulent time. Let's make 2014 stress free.


[1] UK study, conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of Skillsoft, surveyed 503 CEOs of businesses with more than 250 employees, across 13 business sectors. A detailed analysis of the research can be found in the Skillsoft whitepaper entitled 'CEO perspectives on people: leadership, recruitment and skills', found here: Perspectives Whitepaper.pdf