Measuring occupational stress


HSE competency tool will help measure managers effectiveness at dealing with occupational stress in colleagues.

Staff Occupational Stress

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has devised a toolkit which will help line managers’ gauge how well-equipped they are at preventing and reducing occupational stress in colleagues.

In association with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Investors in People, the HSE has produced the Line Manager Competency Indicator Tool.

Its goal is to help mitigate occupational stress and improve workplace performance by helping managers consider more carefully their behaviour and management model.

Within any sizable organisation, the line manager typically has extensive responsibilities related to occupational stress: identifying and managing colleagues who suffer from occupational stress, introducing company-wide stress procedures and communicating stress-related issues throughout the management chain.

For people afflicted by occupational stress, "bad management" is frequently cited as an important factor in causing or exacerbating their condition. For this reason, managers should think about their own behaviour patterns and how they can help alleviate staff stress levels.

Whilst people entering management as a profession usually receive appropriate training, many are left to their own devices with no checks on how well they are coping. It can often be hard to grasp how colleagues are reacting to a manager's behaviour; although a line manager might be acting in a way that adversely affects employees, all too often the senior manager is unaware of this.

The Line Manager Competency Indicator Tool allows managers to request colleagues' feedback to produce a snapshot of his or her behaviour, along with an understanding of the consequences their actions have on those they manage. It has 2 stages: first inviting input from the manager’s staff and then seeking input from senior managers and peers. There is also a self-assessment tool which enables managers' to perform self assessments based on their own view of how they behave.

The Line Manager Competency Indicator Tool also provides online learning materials to help managers and HR professionals improve their working practises and is available from the CIPD/AXA PPP Employee health and wellbeing website.

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