News in brief: Bothered? More than half of UK staff aren’t

Corporate scandals are eroding trust in senior leaders and will have a damaging impact on employee engagement, warns the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Only 36 per cent of workers trust their top leaders, according to the CIPD’s latest Employee Outlook report, a quarterly survey of 2,000 UK employees. Some 58 per cent have a ‘not bothered’ attitude to their job, and only one-quarter felt they were consulted by bosses about key issues. However, those who did trust their leaders were more likely to be content with their well-being, the survey showed. CIPD chief executive, Peter Cheese, said […]

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Lack of competence

Earlier this year, a report laid some of the blame for rising stress at the feet of incompetent bosses. Managers’ lack of competence and misplaced confidence in themselves is creating a stressed-out, unfulfilled workforce, according to research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), carried out among 2,000 UK employees. There is a clear link between the rise in mental health problems and job insecurity, with employers who are planning redundancies significantly more likely to report an increase in stress-related absence (51 per cent) than other employers (32 per cent), says the CIPD’s report. Stress expert Professor Cary Cooper CBE, distinguished […]

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All in a day’s work?

Stress levels at work are now the major cause of long-term absence, says a new CIPD report – but coaching could well be the answer to effective attendance management

News that stress now tops the league of causes for long-term absence in the UK has thrust coaching into the limelight as an effective intervention. Stress has overtaken musculoskeletal problems as the top cause of sick leave, while 39 per cent of employers say absence due to mental health problems has risen in the past year, according to the Absence Management survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Simplyhealth.

Top causes of stress at work include workloads, management style and considerable organisational change and restructuring, says the report. Dealing with sick days costs employers an average of £673 per absent employee a year, up £73 from 2010.

The survey identifies 23 absence management approaches, including return-to-work interviews, attendance bonuses, stress counselling, employee assistance programmes (EAPs) and changes to working patterns.

Although coaching is not cited as an option for managing absence, CIPD adviser Jill Miller, believed some respondents were thinking about coaching when answering about support provided for line managers to manage absence/attendance. She pledged to consider including coaching in next year’s survey.

She said: “Line managers play a key role in effective absence/attendance management, and coaching is a good way of developing capability to do so.”

She said that line managers need to focus on regaining the trust of their employees and on openly communicating.

Kent County Council has recognised the critical role of line managers in its successful “attendance policy”, training them in coaching skills, managing difficult conversations well, stress management and living well, positive management of mental health and managing change successfully. Return-to-work coaching is also on offer to staff.

There is a particular increase in stress-related absence among public sector organisations, with 50 per cent of respondents reporting a rise, according to the report.

Coaching at Work, Volume 6, Issue 6

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Coaching must help build business savvy: CIPD

Employers are missing a trick in the current climate by not focusing on developing business awareness through coaching, warns the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Although the percentage of organisations using coaching and mentoring has dropped to 77 per cent, compared to 90 per cent in 2009, most (84 per cent) of those organisations have upped usage since 2009. “When we first launched this survey in 2009, against the full ferocity of the financial crisis and the retrenchment in business spending, we reasoned that coaching might be vulnerable. However, we find coaching in good health, though there […]

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