During this year’s mental health awareness week, the Mental Health Foundation is drawing attention to the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer with anxiety in their personal and professional lives. According to a recent survey, over 90% of individuals have suffered from a mental health challenge that has directly impacted their work.
In fact, more than 800,000 people in the UK were affected by work-related stress, anxiety or depression last year. As a result, 18 million working days are thought to be lost each year due to poor mental health.
In today’s fast-paced and competitive work environment, the productivity and well-being of employees are crucial for the success of any organisation. However, when employees face obstacles such as disrupted productivity in the workplace, it can have a detrimental impact on their anxiety levels and overall mental health.
One of the biggest culprits of poor productivity in today’s knowledge economy is inaccessible resources and training, and inefficient resource management. The impact this level of disruption has on employees can be detrimental, so it’s time to place existing processes under the microscope.
The fallout of poor productivity
Workplace productivity is high up on the business agenda; the Productivity Puzzle in particular has stemmed many debates amongst industry experts over the past decade (read more about this phenomenon in our blog here).
Instances of poor productivity can stem from several sources, including inadequate work processes, unrealistic expectations, or insufficient training and support. In any scenario, the fear of falling short of expectations, facing negative feedback, or even potential job loss can create an overwhelming sense of pressure, which takes its toll on mental well-being.
Narrowing in on the aforementioned dilemma often experienced in workplaces (inaccessible knowledge and training, with inefficient resource management), the subsequent impact on mental health is as clear as day.
Imagine the frustration you’d feel if the fundamental resources and knowledge you require to perform your role to the best of your abilities is out of reach. You spend hours of your day sifting through files or duplicating documents that you simply cannot find.
Now consider how you’d feel if you were new in a role, or if new pressures were coming from above. The stress of wanting to impress your employer joins the mounting frustration of not having easy access to resources. It would be understandable for anxiety levels to shoot through the roof.
Employees may be left feeling unsupported, unprepared, or unable to meet the demands placed upon them, leading to a decline in their mental health.
It’s a vicious cycle
To make matters worse, employees can easily find themselves in a rut; when productivity suffers, employees may become demotivated, disengaged, and prone to procrastination. The resulting anxiety and stress can then hinder their ability to concentrate and problem-solve effectively, so productivity drops further.
The lack of resources further perpetuates the cycle, as employees struggle to overcome obstacles and meet their goals, which ultimately leads to a decline in their overall mental state
There’s no place for poor knowledge access
The workplace can be stressful enough for employees – especially those working in high-pressure environments – so all unnecessary, anxiety-inducing hurdles should be avoided at all costs.
So, whether it’s resources needed for day-to-day tasks or longer-term training schemes, all relevant knowledge should be easily accessible to each individual.
Understandably, most organisations lack the internal manpower to conduct a complete process overhaul, let alone dedicate regular resources to manage knowledge access and keep all content and training schemes up-to-date and relevant.
This is where technology can play a vital role. Artificial intelligence and other tools are perfectly suited to automate processes and instantaneously update resources as and when needed, with little input required from the teams.
One thing is for certain, organisations cannot stand idly by while their employees experience growing anxiety due to feeling unsupported in their roles or ill-prepared to do their job.
Feeling unproductive is debilitating. Don’t underestimate the impact that poor processes have on your workforce.
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