Help manage stress in the workplace

    • Stress is very different and usually comes when pressure seems unremitting and an individual feels unable to deal with it, leading to extreme anxiety and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

      This can have an adverse effect within the workplace on both your employee, the team around them and the wider business if left unmanaged.

      In 2012, 40% of work related illnesses were attributed to stress (428,000) with the main work activities cited by employees as causing their work-related stress, or making it worse, were work pressure, lack of managerial support and work-related violence and bullying.

      The difficulty facing you as a small business owner is that everyone’s capabilities for managing pressure are different. Understanding the capability of each of your team members will help you greatly in preventing stress.

      Reducing stress

      It’s not possible, nor indeed desirable, to ‘stress-proof’ your workplace, however there are a number of things that you can do as a boss to reduce the likelihood of unnecessary stress occurring.

      • Prioritise work and try to ensure unnecessary tasks are eliminated
      • Ensure your team are adequately trained to do the work expected of them and regularly review their training needs
      • Wherever possible, give people control over the work they do and encourage them to take responsibility for how they do the work
      • Try to ensure people have some variety in the work they do
      • Be aware of any signs of conflict within the team and be ready to intervene to resolve any issues
      • Look out for signs of bullying behaviour and be ready to deal with it directly
      • Communicate regularly and clearly so that everyone is clear about what is happening at work
      • Make sure each individual in the team works to clear, agreed objectives, reviewing these periodically to ensure they remain up to date
      • Provide regular, constructive feedback – not just at appraisal time but on a more frequent basis
      • Encourage a healthy work-life balance – ensure that your people take their annual leave and discourage your team from regularly taking work home in the evenings or at weekends.

      Find out more about managing stress in your business.

      Source: HSE

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