When does pressure turns to stress?
Across the UK, when someone experiences a stress-related illness, it results in an average 27 days absence in a year. With stress on the increase, this matters to us all.
What is the difference between stress and pressure? Pressure is a necessary part of getting things done, varying in levels according to workload, time etc. Stress is the negative result of excessive pressure, experienced in different ways – what is stressful to one person is not to another. A demanding work environment can easily become stressful, for want of some basic attention to six key areas, based on research for the Health & Safety Executive:
- Demands – this includes issues such as workload and work patterns
- 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 including promoting positive working behaviours, management of conflict, 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
We have devised a simple audit tool that helps teams focus quickly on these areas that need most attention to ensure that they are being more proactive in avoiding stress in the workplace. Having done our best to pre-empt stress related episodes in the workplace, we can then focus on how to manage stress, using a range of proven techniques, which can be adapted to suit your setting and staff. These can then become part of routine work practices to ensure shift of culture and long term sustainability of a healthy, stress free working environment.
For details of our Managing Stress in the Workplace training course, click here: http://www.cambridgetraining.org/what-we-do/managing-stress-in-theworkplace