Reducing absenteeism with psychological resilience training
With a major contract, one for HMRC, coming up for renewal, they began to see evidence of increased stress levels among their staff, particularly those working on that specific account.
Capgemini’s contract with HMRC was due for renewal in 2017, but employees were beginning to show signs of stress, caused by fear over the security of their jobs, as early as 2015.
Managing stress with psychological resilience training
Stress is one of the biggest causes of absenteeism in the workplace. Along with ill health, both physical and mental, disengagement and family care issues, stress is a major factor in the amount of time your employees take off work every year.
Absenteeism is bad for business, costing the economy billions of pounds in lost productivity every year. A report by FirstCare estimated workplace absence was costing the UK economy £18 billion in 2017. This was predicted to rise to £21 billion by 2020.
Not only does absence result in an enormous loss of productivity, but it impacts the wellbeing of your entire staff. When someone is off work, their colleagues are often required to pick up the slack, thereby increasing the pressure they themselves are under, and their stress levels, in turn.
Job security, or the lack of, is a major contributor towards workplace stress. Being fearful for the future of your job and livelihood has a damaging impact on people’s mental health. It makes for unhappy and anxious employees, an increase in absence and a decrease in productivity.
All companies experience difficulties, how they deal with them is critical. So how can leaders support their staff, reduce their stress levels and improve general employee wellbeing?
Pinnacle Wellbeing Services are specialists in psychological resilience training. Psychological resilience is an individual’s capability to endure and bounce back from adversities without any serious harm to his or her psychological state.
When multinational corporation Capgemini were facing a period of uncertainty, they approached us to provide psychological resilience training to their staff.
With the HMRC contract coming up for renewal, there was a lot of stress and conflict within the team. People were uncertain as to whether they would still have a job if Capgemini lost the contract. This anxiety resulted in an increase in both absenteeism and staff turnover, which was high at the time.
Capgemini recognised that if they were to continue to see out the duration of their existing commitment to HMRC successfully, and have any chance of renewing their contract beyond 2017, they needed to manage employee stress levels.
It was imperative to Capgemini that staff felt valued by the company and given the support they needed to succeed at their job. Their anxiety over job security and the resulting stress needed to be addressed and they had to be given the tools to manage this.
As this was such a crucial business need for Capgemini, it was important for them to choose psychologists who understood business as well as mental health. With a background in business consultancy, Capgemini felt that Pinnacle Wellbeing Services would understand and take into account their business needs, while also caring for the wellbeing of their staff.
To ensure that Pinnacle Wellbeing Services were the right fit for Capgemini and their people, we initially agreed to lead a pilot workshop. This first training session, on psychological resilience, was attended by Capgemini’s Head of Development, senior managers from other areas of the company, and the HMRC team.
The resilience training focused on ways the team could manage stress, as well as ways they could be proactive in order to minimise any opportunities for stress to have an impact in the first place.
Staff were taught how to manage uncertainty, setbacks and mistakes, and use these situations as growth and learning opportunities, instead.
The success of this workshop saw Capgemini commission a further 15 psychological resilience training workshops. These were attended by 300 people from across the organisation and supplemented with additional one-to-one coaching for those individuals identified as needing extra help.
Pinnacle Wellbeing Services were also asked to design bespoke coaching to support Capgemini’s UK legal team, who were having internal difficulties at the time. In addition, the company’s UK finance team received training in emotional intelligence, as well as one-to-one coaching.
UK Management, Capgemini