In last week’s blog I explained that:

“Workplace stress” is a misnomer. Workplaces aren’t full of stress, they’re full of employees experiencing some level of stress.

 

 

This week’s blog explores six key work related factors that it’s been found a large section of the workforce perceive as being threats to their physical and/or emotional well-being.  These factors were identified by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Our neurology is designed such that once we perceive something as a threat we experience stress.

The 6 Factors
  1. Demands
  2. Control
  3. Support
  4. Relationships
  5. Role
  6. Change
Actions management can take to minimise the possible impact of these 6 factors

For each factor, the HSE guidance suggests actions management can take to minimise the risk that an employee will perceive it as a threat.


1. Demands: An individual perceives they are unable to cope with the demands of their job.

HSE suggests an organisation could reduce the risk of this perception by:

  • providing employees with adequate and achievable demands in relation to the agreed hours of work;
  • matching people's skills and abilities to the job demands;
  • designing jobs to be within the capabilities of employees; and
  • addressing employees' concerns about their work environment.

2.  Control: An individual perceives they are unable to have a say about the way they do their work.

HSE suggests an organisation could reduce the risk of this perception by:

  • where possible, giving employees control over their pace of work;
  • encouraging employees to use their skills and initiative to do their work;
  • encouraging employees to develop new skills to help them undertake new and challenging pieces of work;
  • encouraging employees to develop their skills;
  • giving employees a say over when breaks can be taken; and
  • consulting with employees over their work patterns.

3. Support: An individual perceives they do not receive adequate information and/or support from their colleagues and superiors.

HSE suggests an organisation could reduce the risk of this perception by:

  • having policies and procedures in place to adequately support employees;
  • having systems in place to enable and encourage managers to support their staff;
  • having systems in place to enable and encourage employees to support their colleagues;
  • educating employees on what support is available and how and when to access it;
  • educating employees on how to access the required resources to do their job; and
  • providing employees with receive regular and constructive feedback

4. Relationships: An individual perceives they are being subjected to unacceptable behaviours, e.g. bullying at work.

HSE suggests an organisation could reduce the risk of this perception by:

  • promoting positive behaviours at work to avoid conflict and ensure fairness;
  • encouraging employees to share information relevant to their work;
  • having agreed policies and procedures in place to prevent or resolve unacceptable behaviour;
  • having systems in place to enable and encourage managers to deal with unacceptable behaviour; and
  • having systems in place to enable and encourage employees to report unacceptable behaviour.

5. Role: An individual perceives they do not clearly understand their role and responsibilities.

HSE suggests an organisation could reduce the risk of this perception by:

  • ensuring that, as far as possible, the different requirements it places upon employees are compatible;
  • providing information to enable employees to understand their role and responsibilities;
  • ensuring that, as far as possible, the requirements it places upon employees are clear; and
  • having systems in place to enable employees to raise concerns about any uncertainties or conflicts they have in their role and responsibilities.

6. Change: An individual perceives change as a threat, and the level of threat is compounded if the individual believes that they are not being adequately consulted/informed about the change(s).

Change does not have to be at an organisational level to have an impact on individuals or teams, for example, changes in team members, line managers or the type of work or technology used by the team can result in an individual experiencing stress.

HSE suggests an organisation could reduce the risk of this perception by:

  • providing employees with timely information to enable them to understand the reasons for proposed changes;
  • ensuring adequate employee consultation on changes and provide opportunities for employees to influence proposals;
  • making employees aware of the probable impact of any changes to their jobs. If necessary, an employee should be given training to support any changes in their job;
  • making employees aware of timetables for changes; and
  • providing employees with access to relevant support during changes.

Source: UK Health & Safety Executive

Next week we'll take a look at some of the Red Flags managers should look for that signal that a member of their team may be experiencing stress.


What Next?

Helping people to reduce stress and gain control over their stress level is my passion. If you'd like to explore how I can help you or your employees to become calmer, more productive and healthier, let's have a chat. Contact me now on 021 056 8389 or email me at tony@tycoaching.nz

Wishing you a relaxed, happy, healthy, week at work, home and play.
Go well
Tony

shadow-ornament

Tony helps individuals to harness the power of their mind to achieve success and well-being in life, work and business. Tony's particular area of expertise is in helping people perform under pressure and gain freedom from worry, anxiety and stress. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of co-active coaching, hypnosis, positive psychology and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

Contact Tony today to discuss how he can help you, or if you think Tony could help someone you know, you might like to encourage them to get in touch with him.