Stress can be assessed and managed similar to any health and safety risk. With the facts and figures remaining high and the cost to UK businesses expensive, it is time to take stress seriously and to work at recognising that there is a problem and with the use of effective tools to aim to reduce and to help eliminate it. This should be done for legal obligations but also to enable managers and employees to understand what stress is and how to effectively manage it.
Work is good for us but we do not wish to be made ill by our work.
Managing stress risk will help to not only reduce stress in an organisation but also reduce the likelihood of potential litigation. Unless the root cause of stress is identified, various solutions such as resilience and mindfulness training will not be effective but rather like a sticking plaster.
Tips to reduce stress at an organisational or individual level
- Ensure that stress risk assessments are completed along with employees’ involvement
- The stress risk assessment should include change, role, control, relationships, support and demands.
- A generic assessment is not always sufficient
- Have an action plan with clear dates for action and by whom
- Control measures should be implemented
- Keep all policies and procedures up-to-date
- Ensure that managers and employees are trained by ‘specialists’ and understand their obligations
- Monitor, audit and review current systems
- Continuous quality improvement is essential to ensure that tools and methods are working effectively
Regular communication with team briefings etc