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Workplace stress and strain February 2012


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Half day open training event held in Toronto, Canada.

Published in: Business, Health & Medicine
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Workplace stress and strain February 2012

  1. 1. Workplace stress and strain by Toronto Training and HR February 2012
  2. 2. 3-4 Introduction to Toronto Training and HR 5-6 DefinitionContents 7-8 9-10 Business advantages of taking an interest Top causes of stress at work 11-13 Tackling the issue 14-20 Signs of stress 21-24 Measures to reduce workplace stress 25-26 Key areas of work design 27-28 Long-term support 29-31 Resilience 32-33 How HR can manage stress 34-36 Managing employees who are absent with stress 37-43 Preventing work-related stress claims 44-46 Stress policies 47-50 Case studies 51-52 Conclusion and questions Page 2
  3. 3. Introduction Page 3
  4. 4. Introduction to Toronto Training and HR• Toronto Training and HR is a specialist training and human resources consultancy headed by Timothy Holden• 10 years in banking• 10 years in training and human resources• Freelance practitioner since 2006• The core services provided by Toronto Training and HR are: - Training event design - Training event delivery - Reducing costs - Saving time - Improving employee engagement & morale - Services for job seekers Page 4
  5. 5. Definition Page 5
  6. 6. DefinitionWhat is work-related stress? Page 6
  7. 7. Business advantages of taking an interest Page 7
  8. 8. Business advantages of taking an interestImproving productivityReducing absenceIncreasing qualityBetter customer serviceStaff retentionIncreasing loyalty and motivationAttracting the best people Page 8
  9. 9. Top causes of stress at work Page 9
  10. 10. Top causes of stress at workWorkloadsExternal relationshipsOrganizational change and restructuringManagement styles Page 10
  11. 11. Tackling the issue Page 11
  12. 12. Tackling the issue 1 of 2Employee surveysTraining for managers and/or non-managersRisk assessmentsEmployee Assistance programsFlexible working optionsImproved work–life balance Page 12
  13. 13. Tackling the issue 2 of 2Policy, procedures and systems auditProblem-centred approachWellbeing approachEmployee-centred approach Page 13
  14. 14. Signs of stress Page 14
  15. 15. Signs of stress 1 of 6WORK PERFORMANCEdeclining/inconsistent performanceuncharacteristic errorsloss of control over workloss of motivation/commitmentindecisionlapses in memoryincreased time at worklack of holiday planning/usage Page 15
  16. 16. Signs of stress 2 of 6REGRESSIONcryingargumentsundue sensitivityirritability/moodinessover-reaction to problemspersonality clashessulkingimmature behaviour Page 16
  17. 17. Signs of stress 3 of 6WITHDRAWALarriving late to workleaving earlyextended lunchesabsenteeismresigned attitudereduced social contactelusiveness/evasiveness Page 17
  18. 18. Signs of stress 4 of 6AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOURmalicious gossipcriticism of othersvandalismshoutingbullying or harassmentpoor employee relationstemper outbursts Page 18
  19. 19. Signs of stress 5 of 6OTHER BEHAVIOURSout of character behaviourdifficulty in relaxingincreased consumption of alcoholincreased smokinglack of interest in appearance/hygieneaccidents at home or workreckless drivingunnecessary risk taking Page 19
  20. 20. Signs of stress 6 of 6PHYSICAL SIGNSnervous stumbling speechsweatingtiredness/lethargyupset stomach/flatulencetension headacheshand tremorrapid weight gain or lossconstantly feeling cold Page 20
  21. 21. Measures to reduce workplace stress Page 21
  22. 22. Measures to reduce workplace stress 1 of 3ACTIONS TAKEN COULD INCLUDEUndertaking a stress audit and subsequentlydirecting resources to reduce or eliminate thesources of stressPeople management skills development formanagers at all levelsThe development of a supportive work ethos toencourage staff to discuss stress and seek supportwhen experiencing stress Page 22
  23. 23. Measures to reduce workplace stress 2 of 3OTHER INTERVENTIONS MAY BE CONSIDEREDWHEN SOURCES OF STRESS CANNOT BEELIMINATEDStress management and training in relaxationtechniquesPromoting healthy behaviour and exercisePersonal counselling schemes Page 23
  24. 24. Measures to reduce workplace stress 3 of 3Do you have a policy on mediation and do youknow who to turn to if you want to offer it?Do you have policies on rehabilitation and phasedreturns to work or are members of youroccupational health team trained on these issues? Page 24
  25. 25. Key areas of work design Page 25
  26. 26. Key areas of work designDemandsControlSupportRelationshipsRoleChange Page 26
  27. 27. Long-term support Page 27
  28. 28. Long-term supportDo you have policies in place or managementtraining to help prevent this issue occurring again?Do you have policies or guidance about reasonableadjustments and on-going support for employeeswho have suffered from stress? Page 28
  29. 29. Resilience Page 29
  30. 30. Resilience 1 of 2Definition Page 30
  31. 31. Resilience 2 of 2KEY COMPONENTSSelf-beliefOptimismPurposeful directionAdaptabilityIngenuityChallenge orientationEmotion regulationSupport seeking Page 31
  32. 32. How HR can manage stress Page 32
  33. 33. How HR can manage stressObservationRegular reviewSupportive environmentIndividual approachWatch for presenteeism Page 33
  34. 34. Managing employees who are absent with stress Page 34
  35. 35. Managing employees who are absent with stress 1 of 2Do you have a sickness absence policy that makesreference to the possibility of home visits?Do you have a standard list of questions that youcan ask specialists in order to determine whether aworker is suffering from a disability?Do you have access to occupational healthspecialists so that you can refer the employee for amedical examination? Page 35
  36. 36. Managing employees who are absent with stress 2 of 2Do you have internal or external resources toconduct a risk assessment in relation to someone’srole?Do you have a process to ensure that someonewho is suffering from work-related stress has adedicated point of contact during their absence(this should not be their manager if they arehaving issues with that manager)? Page 36
  37. 37. Preventing work-related stress claims Page 37
  38. 38. Preventing work-related stress claims 1 of 6Do you encourage regular dialogue betweenmanagers and employees?Is there a system – either formal or informal –whereby managers and staff can catch up at leastmonthly? Are these meetings documented (i.e. inan email or via an agenda)? Page 38
  39. 39. Preventing work-related stress claims 2 of 6Before employees are promoted to managementlevel, are they given training that covers:Good people management techniquesBeing able to recognize signs of stress, forexample, when people change their behaviour atworkAn understanding of their legal obligations from aliability perspective regarding the health, safetyand welfare of their people Page 39
  40. 40. Preventing work-related stress claims 3 of 6Is there a policy, intranet guidelines or anyavailable information for employees on what theyshould do if they are suffering from stress at work?How accessible is this policy/guidance? Try typing‘stress’ into your intranet search engine – what isthe answer?Do you conduct risk assessments in relation to anyparticular roles or do you have procedures in placeto enable you to carry one out if necessary? Page 40
  41. 41. Preventing work-related stress claims 4 of 6Do you have an employee counselling service? Ifso, is it widely-known about by staff and are theyaware that they can access it for help with work-related stress? Try typing ‘employee counselling’into Google – what is the answer?Do you conduct an annual survey that asks peoplewhether they have suffered from stress? If asurvey is carried out, what actions result from anydisclosures in that regard? Page 41
  42. 42. Preventing work-related stress claims 5 of 6Adopt flexible working practices – think aboutaltering working hours, enabling remote workingor even just permitting employees to attendimportant family events if they need toBe honest if the organization is going through atough time – if staff know what is happening, theyare more likely to pull together and may even haveinnovative ideas that could help to improve thesituation Page 42
  43. 43. Preventing work-related stress claims 6 of 6If providing salary increases proves difficult, offerother inexpensive incentives such as in-housetrainingPromote a ‘fun’ culture as laughter can serve toboost morale Page 43
  44. 44. Stress policies Page 44
  45. 45. Stress policies 1 of 2POLICIES SHOULD INCLUDEBegin with a clear statement which shows that theorganization is committed to developing a workingenvironment that promotes the health and well-being of the organization and its employeesBe supported by senior managementBe kept under constant review together with otherpolicies, procedures and initiatives to ensure thatthey maximize employee well-being Page 45
  46. 46. Stress policies 2 of 2POLICIES SHOULD INCLUDEProvide for identification of and a regular review ofthe key well-being indicatorsEnsure the provision of effective advice, support,counselling and training to enhance employeewell-beingIncorporate the process for evaluating theeffectiveness of all wellbeing initiatives Page 46
  47. 47. Case study A Page 47
  48. 48. Case study A Page 48
  49. 49. Case study B Page 49
  50. 50. Case study B Page 50
  51. 51. Conclusion and questions Page 51
  52. 52. Conclusion and questionsSummaryVideosQuestions Page 52