The first widespread survey of stress levels in the UK workforce is set for launch following a partnership between an award winning Staffordshire-based wellbeing coach and Keele University.

Nicky Bartley of Thrive and Shine has developed an audit to help businesses identify and measure stress in the workplace with the help of Keele’s KRISP business support programme and is now looking for a diverse range of participants.

She said: “This is an ambitious project that will benefit hundreds of companies and give the UK a way of understanding how stress impacts the economy. It  will allow company managers to see and understand the cost and impact of stress, not only on their business, but on the people suffering illness and on our wider communities. It will enable more focused interventions; training and support will become less adhoc and more intentional and appropriate, focusing the intervention where its really needed and avoiding unnecessary costs. Nearly half of all sickness absences from work are said to be due to anxiety and stress, yet there’s comparatively little done about it when compared to physical illness.”

Nicky added: “People are my passion and Thrive and Shine concentrates on how we work together has a direct bearing on the success of every company. I wanted to explore how we could harness technology to put together a major survey of stress in the workplace and turned to the Keele University KRISP scheme for guidance. Now we have a bespoke, purpose-built system and we are opening applications for companies to participate.”

To get involved please contact Nicky by email at info@thrive-and-shine.co.uk.

Nicky, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, says that while the survey is UK-wide, she believes there will be a lot to gain from it for North Staffordshire business.

She said: “I have started signing up local companies that I have a link to, and while the net will be cast far and wide, the first tranche of work will involve many local workers and the learning that comes from it will have a positive impact on the local economy. If companies have projects they need help in kickstarting, I’d wholeheartedly recommend KRISP and Keele University. I have received effective support from Doctor Colin Rigby and Emma Bonfiglio, a research and innovation advisor and KRISP provided two students to give practical help with my research.”

Dr Rigby said:  “This is a great example of the type of innovation we support at Keele. Useful and practical but grounded in proper research, it’s been a real pleasure to work with Nicky on this project and this is very much the beginning of our work together.”

Nicky founded Nicky Bartley Ltd in 2014 and worked as a coach with companies as far afield as Australia. She changed her emphasis to work closer to home in 2020 And launched Thrive and Shine. She was recognised as the English Female Life Coach of the Year in 2018.

“While I coach a great deal in the business world, I’m a life coach, not a business coach,” explained Nicky.

“A company may often have a wellbeing strategy, but strategies can be filed away in a draw and good intentions may be lost. I am looking to work with companies to create a wellbeing culture, so that a company’s workforce has the right mindset to actually work.  A healthy, mindful culture. leads to a more productive workforce and adds to the overall health of the economy.”

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