How can managers deal with workplace stress?

As well as an important legal obligation, risk management for workplace stress can be part of an organisational improvement strategy. For success with managing stress there needs to be an organisational and management commitment. Here are some points for managers to be mindful of:

Be aware – be aware and observe your staff, noticing any changes in their behaviour towards others or towards you and their relationships with each other. Is there something happening completely out of character?

Take note of sickness absence levels, extra hours worked, annual leave taken and start and finish times.

Be a listening ear – listen to what your staff are saying or not saying at meetings and how they interact with each other. Is there conflict or issues between staff? How much impact is stress having?

Reflect – reflect on what you have observed and how that relates to the six factors that lead to work related stress. Identify the causes such as not being promoted, job change. Have you contributed to the stress? Be honest with yourself. Stress may not be work related and what is the impact within the work environment and the team?

Discuss – where appropriate, discuss the issues with your staff face-to-face or as a group. If you need help, discuss with HR.

Take Effective Action Now – Develop a plan to reduce and manage stress proactively. Involve your staff with the plan with action points and timescales included.

Stress Risk Management

There have been several conditions found to be critical to the success of this kind of intervention and these include employee participation in all activities of stress management, including stress risk assessment, planning and implementing control options and interventions. There does need to be clear and good organisational communication and consultation regarding the stress risk management process.

All managers should be trained on how to carry out a Stress Risk Assessment and their staff trained on how to identify stress in themselves and others.

Open dates in London on 20 March 2018 and in Glasgow on 19 April 2018. More information for other dates or onsite


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