This page is a summary of stress management research, stress case studies, team building research and research relevant to Embodied Management Training, as well as some UK laws concerning these areas. As a businessman I understand that our clients want to know that they're making a good investment, and as someone who holds an honours degree in psychology, that our work is evidence based, i.e. is backed-up by sound research.
- Mark Walsh
Lead Trainer - Integration Training
Stress related illness is now the leading source of work absenteeism
(source - University of Sussex, 2008)
About 1 in 5 people say that they find their work either very or extremely stressful and over half a million people say that work-related stress has actually made them ill. - HSE
As well as reducing sickness absence costs to an organisation, tackling stress can have a positive effect on:
Employers have legal obligations to help employees manage their stress:
- Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to assess the risk of stress-related ill health arising from work activities; and
- Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to take measures to control that risk.
- The estimated cost of sickness absence to the UK as a whole is around £12 billion a year (£4 billion Public Sector/£8 private)
- Stress is the single largest cause of occupational ill health, accounting for around half of all days lost to work-related ill health
HM Prison Service have taken a number of actions to reduce sickness absence, including introducing welfare support systems and HR policies to reduce stress, and improving the provision of occupational health services. These, and other measures, have been undertaken in partnership with HSE and have helped HMPS to reduce long-term sickness absence by 22.9% between 2002/3 and 2003/4 and a further 3.7% between 2003/4 and 2004/5.
Hinchingbrooke NHS Trust had been failing to meet its key performance indicators, particularly in respect to staff recruitment and retention and sickness absence. New senior management joined the Trust soon after it was awarded a zero-star rating by the Healthcare Commission in 2002. A Valuing Staff Campaign was introduced, including a stress audit, where the views of staff were sought and concerns addressed. Staff trade unions supported this process. The key improvements were as follows:
The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) states that the average cost of absence now stands at £588 pa per employee, and also discusses the ethical, CSR, employee engagement, recruitment and PR
opportunities of and stress management. The CIPD's research on stress management is HERE.
MIND the mental health charity suggests that for every £1000 spent on helping people to be healthy and motivated at work could result in £3000 in increased productivity.
One thing that makes Integration Training unique is that we are the UK's only embodied learning specialist. The study of the conscious body (somatics) is a relatively new field but solid research has been done. The most acessible summary of this is Rip it Up by Professor Richard Wiseman. Amy Cuddy's "power poses" have also become quite famous.
Prior to this there were other academic studies of the body's role in communication, for example Albert Mehrabian classic study (since replicated the world over) which found that around 90% of emotionally significant communication is not in the content but rather 70% is from bodily communication and 20% tone (caused by embodiment).
Embodied training goes far beyond body language to "body being" - how who we are is shaped by our physicality. Modern neuroscience's discovery that the body controls the brain as well as the other way around, is colourfully illustrated by the work of Paul Eckman from the University of San Francisco, who has been working since the 60's on expression and lie detection.
Classic study - Mehrabian, Albert - Silent Messages, Belmont CA, USA: Wadswirth 1971
Eckman quoted in Gladwell , M - The Naked Face, New Yorker, August 5, 20o2, p.47
Leadership accounts for as much as 45% of the performance of organisations.*
The crucial importance of emotional and interpersonal skills in the workplace is highlighted by Daniel Goldman in his books. He lists dozens of studies from around the world and also gives numerous real-world examples of how company's bottom lines have suffered or benefited from their skills in this area. He calls this the "Hard case for soft skills" and makes a well researched quantified case. Some of the findings he lists:
- Improved teamwork leads to reduced absenteeism, improved turnover and productivity
- In one factory studied top teams produced 30% more per year than the mean, amounting to $9.8 million extra profit. In industries dealing in information rather than production the gains are even greater. While the benefits of emotional intelligence to managers, sales and customer care teams is apparent, it is also worth noting that teams dealing with finances and technology benefited more, not less, from training.
- An 8-20% increase in sales for advisers trained in emotional competence at American Express
The Leadership Dojo is a good introduction to embodied leadership training in particular. Numerous studies are listed in the notes.
*Source - Kaiser, Hogan & Craig - Leadership and the Fate of Organizations, American Psychologist, February-March 2008
Strozzi-Heckler, Richard - The Leadership Dojo - Frog Ltd, 2007
Working with Emotional Intelligence - Daniel Goleman, Bloomsbury Publishing 1998
The theoretical framework that we use as Integration Training to understand the whole person, within the whole business, is Ken Wilber's Integral model. Using this map we can take more into account than other training companies so get more complete results. For an accessible introduction packed with research see:
The Integral Vision - Ken Wilber, Shamballa, 2007
The article "Managing Your Energy, Not Your Time" by Tony Schwartz and Cathrine McCarthy in the Harvard Business Review October 2007 is also an excellent resource highlighting some integral body, mind, emotion and spirit research on increasing efficiency and reducing burnout.
Beyond academic research all of the work that I and the other trainers lead has been "field-tested" under pressure, both in busy offices and in extreme environments such as the martial arts dojos and the war zones of the world. We know our material works because we live and breathe it, which I'm confidant will come across.
We are also very happy to have the results of our training measured by indicators that you think are most relevant - e.g. staff sick days, churn-rate or sales. If you would like further data on a particular area please drop me a line.
Integration Training Lead Trainer
+44 (0)1293 906828
E-mail us or call us on +44 (0)1273 906828