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Managers ‘fail to deal with stress’

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According to research commissioned by the Industrial Society Learning and Development, employees are unimpressed with their managers’ handling of stress.

Over 850 full- and part-time workers were interviewed in the survey and asked to rate their immediate bosses’ management abilities. While 59% rated their general line management skills positively, only two in five employees
felt they were getting sufficient help to manage their stress levels at work. One in four (26%) full time workers and almost one in five (19%) part time staff described their manager’s stress management skills as ‘poor’ or
‘very poor’.

The findings are bad news for UK business, with stress representing the most common cause of long-term absence and stress-related sick days costing British Industry as much as £7.11 million each week.

The survey also exposed a gender and age divide, with younger people having a more positive outlook than those in their later working years and women and part-time workers significantly more positive in their general rating of
their immediate manager. The research also found that:

– Women were more likely to feel fairly treated than their male colleagues: 75% thought their bosses were fair compared to 65% of men

– Part-time workers were more likely to feel valued than those working full time (62% versus 55% respectively)

– The older the employee, the less generally well managed they felt: as many as 48% of interviewees aged 55 or over were negative about their immediate manager compared to only 26% of 15-24 year olds

– Staff in the Midlands were less positive about their bosses’ management skills than those elsewhere in the UK, with only 54% in the region giving their boss a positive rating against 62% in the North

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