Being Proactive:An Organisational Approach toManaging Workplace Stress Presentation by Raaz Dhamelia KS School of Business Management Ahmedabad (India) Co. No. 9574 201 201
Healthy Work: Managing Stress in theWorkplace. (2003)“ Creating a healthy and safe workplace requires employers and employees to work systematically together to identify hazards and manage them”
Stress an integral and inevitablefeature of most contemporaryworkplaces Workplace stress arises when individuals perceive an imbalance between the pressures and demands made on them and the resources they have to cope with these demands
Managing Stress in the WorkplaceTraditional view Stress the responsibility of the individualOrganisational view Employers and employees have a responsibility to address work-related stress
The HSE Amendment Act 2002 Objective: To promote the prevention of harm to all persons at work through the systematic management of hazards
HSE Amendment Act 2002 holdsEmployers Responsible forImplementation of effective systems for identifying existing and new hazards, including work-related stressSystematic management of hazards, by eliminating them, isolating them or minimising them, in that order of preference.Provision of opportunities for employee participation.
3 Approaches to Tackling Work-related Stress Prevention Identifying and acting on the causes of stress Stress Risk Assessments Management Giving staff the skills to cope / manage Treatment Professional medical and psychological support
Stress Risk Assessment - A Preventive ApproachSRA aims to identify:1. The level stress (the harm)2. The main sources of work-related stress (the hazards)3. What practicable steps can be taken to eliminate the sources of stress (hazards), if possible
An International PerspectiveAn international review of stress prevention in the workplace highlights that there has been a lack of systematic Stress Risk Assessment (Kompier and Cooper, 1999).The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Guidance recommends that a risk assessment approach be followed when tackling work-related stress
Step 4 & 5 - Record and Re-Assess Step 2: Step 3 (a): Step Step 1: Evaluate Risks Evaluate Harm Introduntify Hazards Who could How likely What cWhat might be harmed, is it that the to reduause harm? and how? hazard could that cause harm? will ca
Comparison of a Risk AssessmentWith a Stress Risk Assessment Risk Assessment Stress Risk Assessment1. Identify the Hazards 1. Assess levels of stress (harm)2. Evaluate the Harm 2. Identify main sources of stress3. Evaluate the Risk 3. Identify the main sources of stress for individuals / teams4. Introduce Controls 4. Identify what can be done to manage the main sources of stress
Stress Risk Assessment Process1. Planning and Consultation2. Data Collection Qualitative methods e.g. interviews, focus groups, Stress Diaries Quantitative methods e.g. structured surveys, StressTools3. Data Analysis4. Feedback and Action Planning
StressToolsA Tool for Tackling Work-related Stress StressTools aims to help organisations identify and manage work-related stressors. StressTools takes a preventive approach emphasising removing work-related stressors rather than treating stress symptoms StressTools developed by the Keil Centre with the assistance of Birbeck College and local industry StressTools won the European Health and Safety Best Practice Award.
Task-based SRAIdentify and control stressors and other human factors hazards arising from an unusual, complex or hazardous task To be included in pre-existing Risk Assessment process Emphasises links between stress and safety Tackles stigma associated with mentioning stress
Future-focused SRA Involve cross-section of employees identifying work-related stressors likely to be associated with a future project or organisational change and planning preventative measures Focuses on preventing future work-related stress Relevant to major projects or organisational changes Identifies relevant work-related stressors through employee involvement Can be tailored to local circumstances Identifies actions to prevent / manage future sources of work- related stress
Team-based SRAThe team-based SRA method, which identifies levels and sources of stress in teams doing similar work in organisations and identifies locally relevant solutions through employee involvement is particularly relevant in light of the changes to the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002.
Team-based SRA Involves 4 Steps…..Step 1. Evaluating harm . Measures team members’ perceptions of level of work- related stress and benchmark levels of stress with other groupsStep 2. Identifying the hazards. Assesses which work- related stressors are causing stress, using a generic (40 predefined) and locally relevant work related stressors. Identifies the main work-related stressors affecting team members now or in the recent pastStep 3. Evaluating risks. Assesses what are the most significant sources of stress for team members and describing these sources in more detail.Step 4. Introducing controls. Identifies what can be done by management or team members to prevent and manage work-related stress
Conducting a Team-based SRA Train project organiser / working team Needs to be well-respected by the team Important to maintain confidentiality about employees opinions about stressors and levels of stress Prepare for the team-based SRA Use cross-section of employees to identify local work-related stressors Customise the team-based SRA Identify sub-groups Choose comparison group for benchmarking purposes Add local work-related stressors Add additional questions. Questions need a yes no answer format Collect data Paper workbook / on-screen option
Results of Team-based SRA Stress levels Stress comparisons with benchmark group Stress exposure - % of people in each group which indicated that each stressor was “often” of “always” a source of stress Stressors high- low Ranked stressors – significance of stressors Movement Written comments on main sources of stress
StressTools14 Management Standards Providing Guidance on Howto Prevent Work-related Stressors Workload Job design Management support Job Insecurity Tools and equipment Teamworking Communication Performance Role ambiguity feedback Skill under-utilisation Training & Work-life balance development Effort-reward imbalance Hours of work
Each Management Standard Includes… A definition of the stressor How the stressor can cause individual harm and organisational harm How to identify if problem exists now or may do so in the future Management practices that may prevent or resolve these problems A table which includes: “States” which describe a well-managed organisation, in relation to this stressor A space to record current organisational practice, enabling a gap analysis to be done Examples of the types of best practice which exemplify the “state” A space to record next steps/actions
International Research Shows1. Most of the activity in the field of stress management has focused on reducing the effects of stress rather than on reducing the presence of stressors at work.2. Most activities are primarilyy aimed at the individual rather than the organisation.3. Concluded that successful management of stress requires intervention at both an individual and organisational level.
Benefits of Stress Risk Assessment Signals to employees that the employer is being proactive and serious about managing stress in the workplace. It ensures that subsequent stress-related activities aimed at management or treatment are targeted at specific problems and specific individuals. Provides a tailored approach to managing stress rather than a “pray and spray” approach. In the long term it is more effective in terms of costs and time.
In Conclusion Compared to other stress management techniques The risk assessment approach to stress is likely to more effective, as the source is being addressed rather than the symptoms It is a proactive