Heather Falconer outlines the latest guidance from the HSE on how to tacklestress within your organisation1. Identify the hazardsCarry out sickness absence datamonitoring. If a particular team or unit has high levels of sickness absence,investigate the causes – conditions or work organisation may be raising stresslevels and, in turn, absenteeism– Conduct return-to-work interviews to find out if and whystaff are taking time off for stress– Talk to your staff and get them to talk to you. Ask themabout things that may be upsetting them or making work difficult– Use focus groups to encourage people to be open and candid– Conduct exit interviews if staff turnover is high2. Establish who might be harmed – Use the stress factors identifiedby the HSE as most significant to group the issues identified in Step 1 underheadings. This is a useful first move, says the HSE, in sorting andprioritising the information gained from Step 1. The headings are:– Demands: Are staff comfortable with their amount of work orhours?– Control: Are staff involved in deciding what work they do andwhen and how they do it?– Support: Are staff getting adequate support for work orpersonal problems? Have they had adequate training?– Relationships: How are relationships conducted? Are therebullying/harassment problems?– Roles: Are staff clear what is expected of them? Do multipleroles conflict with rather than complement each other?– Change: Do you communicate with and consult adequately aboutorganisational change?– Culture: Do you promote open dialogue among staff? 3. Develop an action plan– Don’t try to tackle everything your risk assessment identifies atonce– Start with the smaller problems that can be solved quickly –for example, improving communication by introducing regular team meetings. Thisshould immediately reduce overall stress levels, the HSE says, making it easierto solve more difficult problems over time– When contemplating more costly measures, such as employingextra staff, consider whether the potential benefits justify the financial cost– Consult and involve staff when deciding what to do4. Take action– You must make practicalinterventions to reduce employee exposure to the stressors identified aspresenting the greatest risk, the HSE emphasises– There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to each stressor.The HSE urges employers to look at its guidance and ask how much you are doingtowards the guidelines set out– Look at what other organisations are doing. The HSE iscurrently gathering a database of case studies to facilitate this5. Evaluate and share your work– Try to demonstrate any quantitativeimprovements that result from your interventions, such as a reduction in staffturnover or absenteeism– After each action, repeat Step 1 to establish whether stafffeel any of the problems have been reduced or eliminated¥ Share good practiceby contributing case studies and training materials to the HSE website or toother firms– When you meet other companies in your sector, set aside sometime to talk about stress Comments are closed. Stress policy in five stepsOn 21 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.