Hidden Facts about Work Related Stress at Workplace Pt.2
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Hidden Facts about Work Related Stress at Workplace Pt.2

The overall aim is to reduce the number of employees who go sick or perform poorly at work because of stress. The general duty of employers is to implement management standards by continually improving pressure management, which is good for employees and good for business. Possible solutions start with all the features of the positive health and safety culture we discussed before, then write down a high-quality risk assessment, including stress regarding:

      1. Identify the problem;
      2. Gather data and background on the problem.
      3. Set the remedial action required with reasons;
      4. Identify targets and reasonable target dates;
      5. Review with employees to check that the action is working.

Gather information and data

There are several different types of information or data that you can use to help you identify. This information may point to ‘hot-spots’ where work-related stress is likely to be a particular problem and may also suggest what the likely underlying causes may be. Some of them have been mentioned in previous blogs, and here they relate to work-related stress when it is a potential problem for the organization.

 

a) Sick Leave Data

High levels of absence may indicate a potential problem spot that shall be investigated to determine the root cause behind absences and check if working conditions increase levels of work-related stress, which in turn leads to sickness absence. Bear in mind that stress-related sickness absences are not reported because of perceived stigma among peer groups.

b) Productivity data

It can point to lower performance than expected in benchmarking or between different parts of the organization. If negative working methods, conditions, the environment, or a poor safety culture could be causing work-related stress, then it is worthwhile examining the reasons through discussions with employees.

c) Turnover Rate

If there is a higher rate of staff turnover than expected, that means a hidden problem with work-related stress is present. Consider holding ‘exit interviews’ to see if there are particular reasons why people have decided to leave, and if work-related stress was among them, then plan to find out the exact cause of the problem and how you can prevent further losses.

d) Performance appraisal

Offer an opportunity to have a one-to-one discussion about work and to explore whether people in your team are experiencing excessive pressure.

 

e) Other Methods

Toolbox talk, Surveys, Team meeting, Informal talks to staff, preliminary analysis.

Low Productivity Preformance

How to develop solutions

This section provides suggestions on how to develop solutions and examples that have already been done successfully by other organizations to deal with problematic working conditions.

Consider yourself hugged

– Safety Advisor

1) Conduct team meetings to discuss work related stress, consider:

  • Take enough time to clarify and define what the problem is.
  • Ask how this area of work activity became a problem
  • Listen to mechanisms for introducing suggested improvements. 
  • What are the first steps ? And how will monitor progress?
  • Finally, it is important to prioritize required actions.

2) Work Load:

  • Prepare personal work plans to ensure each staff member knows what his job involves.
  • Make sure work patterns align with peaks and staff absences.
  • Provide sufficient resources.
  • Conduct weekly and monthly team meetings to discuss the anticipated workload.
  • Provide sufficient core functions training.
  • Encourage concept of “seek help” if having conflicting priorities.

3) Work  Pattern

  • Plan and Review working hours and shift work systems to fit work condition.
  • Consider external pressures like changes to start and end times to help employees to cope with childcare, poor commuting routes.
  • Give notice employees of unplanned tight deadlines and any exceptional need to work long hours.

4) Physical environment and violence (Read lone workers Blog)

  • Attending to the physical environment, take steps to reduce unwanted distraction, disturbance, noise levels, vibration, dust.
  • Assess the risk of physical violence and verbal abuse to deal with it.
  • Keep those risk assessments up to date.
  • Allow regular breaks.
  • Provide training helping staff deal with and defuse difficult situations like aggressive members of the public.
  • Provide work plan and realistic deadlines.
  • Provide adequate training and resources for doing the job.
  • Balanced work pressure to keep staff motivated and interested in their work.

5) Lack of Support

  • Hold regular one-to-one meetings to talk about uprise pressures.
  • Hold regular liaison/team meetings to discuss unit pressures.
  • Consider “work-related stress” for staff meetings and performance reviews.
  • Monitor and review the received good support from managers or colleagues.

6) Problem with Relationships

  • Develop a written policy for dealing with unacceptable behavior at work communicate this to staff.
  • Implement a grievance and disciplinary procedure for dealing with unacceptable behavior
  • Prevent, or resolve conflict at work
  • Enable the reporting of unacceptable behavior.
  • Provide training to help staff deal with and defuse difficult situations.
  • Encourage good communication
  • Provide appropriate training to aid skill development
  • Provide support for staff who work in isolation.
  • Create a culture where colleagues trust and encourage each other.
  • Define and ensure people aware of unacceptable behaviors
  • Don’t Allow any bullying behavior or harassment
The End
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