Stressed Out


Line Managers can play an important role in helping manage work-related stress.

Author: Ernie Taylor
Reading time: 3 minutes

This article is 4 years old.

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Across Great Britain, work-related stress accounts for over half (57%) of all working days lost to ill health. In the last 12 months, over 600 000 workers reported suffering from stress, depression or anxiety, caused, or made worse by their work. Stress affects us all at different times and in different ways.

The HSE have recently produced the Talking Toolkit aimed at Line Mangers.

Line Managers can play an important role in helping manage work-related stress. There are many tools, resources and guides available to help employers in deciding what these measures should be; however firstly employers need to find out (a) if there is a problem within their own organisation and (b) how big is the problem. This publication could be a useful starting point and provide the means for feedback to the Employer (and Senior Managers) about how their workforce feel about the work they do; and their working environment.

Designed to help Line Managers: The Talking Toolkit has been published as part of the HSE’s own Go Home Healthy campaign. It is designed to help Line Managers to open an initial conversation with their own staff; as part of an employer’s journey towards preventing work-related stress. By taking effective action Employers can help create a more engaged, healthy workforce. Such an approach may also boost productivity and save money.

Employers have reported improvements in productivity, retention of staff and a reduction in sickness absence where they have tackled work-related stress.

Anxiety, depression and employees suffering from stress is a very real matter for concern. It is adding significant costs to businesses, individuals and their families and to society at large (the UK Plc).

Lets’ open up a conversation: I would urge senior managers to look at the attached and see it as being a useful tool to open up a conversation on a matter that is sometimes seen a being difficult to talk about. To use the saying… “its’ good to talk.” I would suggest that the Talking Toolkit is probably best used within small discussion groups of 3 or 4 persons; as a one-to-one meeting might not reveal how people genuinely feel about themselves, their work and the work environment. Whether an employer is a small business or a large corporation, the law requires all employers to assess the risk of work-related stress and to put steps in place to tackle those risks.

When did you last ask a work colleague “how do you feel today?” rather than “how are you doing?” (a question which generally results in the same response “OK, alright”) with no real indicator as to how that person is; or is not dealing with some difficult issues.

Please use the following link to download this new stress management tool.

BEN the automotive charity that supports people who work within the motor industry and their families is very active on the issue of mental health issues you can contact them here.

BEN’s free and confidential helpline number is 08081 311 333 or email BEN [email protected]

Ernie Taylor

Health & Safety Consultant

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