PMI Health Group have produced some tips for business to help with managing stress in the workplaceis advising businesses that have increased workplace demands on staff in the wake of the economic downturn to take appropriate measures to manage employee stress.
minimise anxiety by communicating in a clear, open and honest fashion with staff when implementing organisational change or revising working practices.
give supervisors and line managers suitable training, where appropriate, on best practice to facilitate two-way dialogue and enable staff to adapt to any changes that might occur.
ensure all employees are fully trained to carry out their employment duties, particularly when they are expected to adapt to new workplace responsibilities.
ensure managers regularly review workload demands and realistically assess employees’ capacities so they don’t become overloaded.
monitor employees working hours and ensure staff take their full holiday entitlement.
foster workplace cultures that encourage positive relationships between management and employees. Even when business pressures demand increasing employee workloads, for example, staff should be given regular breaks during which they can engage with colleagues.
ensure they have suitable complaints and support procedures in place so that employee grievances can be appropriately handled should they arise. Employees should also have access to union or staff representatives.
provide employees suffering with stress with confidential counselling and access to information on support, advice and self-help groups.
introduce flexible working practices where possible to encourage a healthy work-life balance and to support staff facing pressures outside of work, such as those with caring responsibilities.
measure their workplace environment against the Health & Safety Executive’s Management Standards that define the characteristics, or culture, of organisations that have implemented best practice in stress risk management.