Work Related Stress

Well-designed, organised and managed work is good for us but when insufficient attention to job design, work organisation and management has taken place, it can result in Work related stress.

Work related stress develops when a person is unable to cope with the demands being placed on them. Stress can be a significant cause of illness and is known to be linked towards high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and also other issues such as more errors.

It is well known that stress can hit anyone at any level of the business and research has shown that work related stress is more of a widespread problem rather than confined to particular sectors, jobs or industries. This is why a population-wide approach is necessary to tackle it.

The HSE have produced management standards which are related towards work related stress and these standards cover 6 sources of stress at work which are:

Demands – this includes issues such as workload, work patterns and the work environment.

Control – how much say the person has in the way they do their work.

Support – this includes the encouragement, sponsorship and resources provided by the organisation, line management and colleagues.

Relationships – this includes promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour.

Role – whether people understand their role within the organisation and whether the organisation ensures that they do not have conflicting roles.

Change – how organisational change (large or small) is managed and communicated in the organisation.

The management standards represent a set of conditions that when present reflect a high level of health well-being and organisational performance.

The management standards:

  • Demonstrate good practice through a step by step risk assessment approach
  • Allow assessment of the different situations through using surveys and other techniques
  • Promotes active discussion and working in partnership with employees to help decide on practical improvements which can then be made