Managing stress levels in the workplace has become a key business skill.
The pressure to perform continues to increase and employees are under a great deal of pressure.
Now while pressure is a normal part of most work and in moderation can help you to work, difficulties tend to arise if the pressure becomes excessive.
Work related stress illnesses are recognised as being on the increase in our modern society.
However, stress in the workplace is not just related to workload and pressure.
The Health and Safety Executive have identified 6 key areas which research shows are important in affecting employees’ levels of stress.
The demands placed upon employees in terms of workload, work patterns and the work environment
The control people have over how they do their work
The support people have to enable them to do their job from the institution, line management and colleagues
The quality of relationships at work
The work role, its clarity in terms of responsibilities etc.
Change in the workplace and how this is managed and communicated within the institution
What to do if you are experiencing work-based stress
Read through the following list of questions to identify particular issues in relation to work which could be sources of stress.
These questions look at common problems relating to control, support, relationships and change management and can be used as a starting point for you to analyse possible sources of stress.
Try to answer in the following ways – Yes|No|Sometimes and be as honest with yourself as possible.
Do you feel that your workload is appropriate?
Do you feel that your skills are being well-used?
Are you able to have a say about the way that you do your work?
Are you able to use your initiative as appropriate in your job?
Do you have any control over your work patterns?
Are you able to take breaks at appropriate times of the day? (e.g. mealtimes)
Are you encouraged to develop your skills?
Do you receive adequate information from your manager to enable you to do your job?
Do you receive adequate information from your colleagues to enable you to do your job?
Do you get adequate support from your manager?
Do you get adequate support from your colleagues?
Do you know how to find the support you require?
Do you know how to access the resources you need to do the job?
Do you receive constructive feedback about your work?
Do you feel that you have good working relationships?
Do you feel that any conflicts at work are dealt with appropriately?
Do you feel that you are subjected to unacceptable behaviour? E.g. harassment and bullying
Have your role and responsibilities been made clear?
Do you feel that you have conflicting responsibilities?
Do you receive adequate and timely information about proposed changes at work?
Do you have the opportunity to comment on proposed changes which will directly affect your work?
Do you receive training, where necessary, to deal with any changes to your work?
Talk to your manager, to a member of staff from Human Resources or Health and Safety.
Find out what options are open to you.
Where you feel that the effects of stress are having an impact on your confidence or general wellbeing, you may also wish to consult one of our advisers.
We can help you develop a range of stress management techniques and skills to maximise performance in a sustainable way.