Preventing stress - Managing work-related stress

Preventing stress

To create a positive environment at work and help prevent work-related stress, employers should:

  • have a clear policy on mental health and stress
  • address the causes of stress through risk assessments and employee surveys
  • encourage people to raise their concerns – for example, if a person feels they are being discriminated against
  • provide training for managers – for example, on managing conflict, change and work-related stress
  • support their employees – for example, listening to concerns and acting on them quickly
  • promote a work-life balance – for example, encouraging employees to use their breaks and take holiday
  • provide employees with access to support – for example, an employee assistance programme (EAP) or training on stress management techniques

Taking steps to prevent work-related stress will help:

  • make employees healthier and happier at work
  • improve performance and make employees more productive
  • reduce absence levels
  • avoid disputes at work
  • make the organisation more attractive to job seekers

How employees can look after themselves

To look after their own health and wellbeing at work, employees should:

  • raise their awareness of what might be causing them stress
  • take steps to reduce their stress levels – for example, taking regular breaks or geting outside on a lunch break
  • tell their employer when they're experiencing stress at work and ask for help – managers should know where to go for advice and support
  • make use of support and training offered by their organisation

The support employers offer might include:

  • counselling or mental health support through an employee assistance programme (EAP)
  • a mental health peer support programme or employee support network
  • occupational health
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