Stress is an all-too-common condition, especially in the workplaces of today. Already, most of us see stress as a ‘normal’ state, when in fact it is anything but. The problem with stress is that it can result in serious problems – not just with an individual, but with the entire workplace. A good company should have a policy for stress management so the company can act in an effective manner if it finds that an employee is suffering from such a condition. If you are an HR officer, you should be able to recognise the symptoms of stress in your workplace and be able to address the situation before it becomes worse.
Creating a good policy for stress management
Your policy for stress management should not just focus on the reason for the stress – there shouldn’t be any distinction between anxiety and stress due to personal reasons or anxiety and stress due to work tasks and responsibilities. Your policy should instead be focused simply on protecting your employees’ health and making sure they receive the right support from your company.
Acting on behalf of the company, you have a responsibility to your workers to alleviate or deal with stress in an effective way. Failure to deal with the problem can leave you vulnerable to litigation if it can be proven that the stress could have been avoided. An employee can even make a claim (under the 2010 Equality Act) if the stress they experience in the workplace becomes classified as a disability.
In order to minimise stress, there are several things you can do. One is to make sure that all your managers are adequately trained not only to manage but also to motivate the workers under them as well as identify the symptoms of stress.
Another thing you can do is send a clear message about stress – make employees feel that the company has a supportive outlook regarding stress, and that they should feel open about admitting stress without suffering any consequences. You can accentuate this by offering different options of support to employees who are stressed and letting them know that they can easily approach any HR officer or their manager if they feel stressed.
The problem with stress in the workplace is that it can quickly spiral out of control if not addressed in a prompt and reasonable manner. An employee who is constantly stressed can eventually file a grievance report against their manager or the company itself, and dealing with grievances is a difficult task. Interviews and recordings have to be made, and these have to be transcribed by a good UK transcription service. Stress should be addressed before it becomes a grievance, and this will not only benefit the employees themselves – but your company as well.