The Importance of Managing Work-Related Stress

Peninsula Team

March 30 2017

Well-designed, organised and managed work will lead to an engaged work force, which is essential for the efficient running of any business – but how can stress affect engagement? Sometimes, there can be factors within the work place that can cause an employee to become stressed – and as a consequence, this can impact on their level of engagement. Here are a few examples to illustrate how this may happen:
  • Capability – this could be a task that’s physically or mentally beyond the individual’s capacity, information overload, and repetitive or boring tasks etc.
  • When the dignity at work policy not being adhered to – leading to the employee feeling bullied or harassed while at work.
  • Role ambiguity – where the individual has no clear idea of what’s expected of them.
  • Miscommunication – when opposing demands are made on an individual by different people.
  • Lack of recognition for their efforts or achievements.
  • Environmental factors – such as noise, heat, lighting or cleanliness.
How can stress impact on business efficiencies? When an employee is suffering from stress - whether in their personal life or their working environment - it can negatively affect how the business operates. For example, it can result in:
  • High absenteeism
  • High levels of staff turnover
  • Unsatisfactory timekeeping
  • Poor performance and productivity
  • Low morale
  • A reduction in motivation
  • Increased employee complaints
  • Increased ill-health, accidents and incidents reports
With this in mind, it’s advisable that employers implement a policy on work-related stress, outlining the support available to the employee and the employer’s commitment to preventing it happening in the first place. The earlier an employee’s concerns are brought to management’s attention, the easier it is to control and manage. Managing stress complaints In the event of work-related stress complaints, there should be internal procedures available to allow the employee to raise their concerns and have them investigated in a fair manner, such as an internal:
  • Grievance procedures
  • Bullying procedures
  • Harassment procedures
It’s important to note that if an employee raises a concern and it’s not investigated by management, then that employee resigns due to work-related stress in relation to their concerns, it could result in a constructive dismissal claim. If successful, this could result in the payment of a maximum of two years’ salary in compensation. In summary, employers who proactively look to provide support and resources to help staff manage stress will see a more engaged work-force, leading to improved productivity, improved morale and a lower staff turnover. It will also allow employers to recruit and retain the most talented staff. If you have any questions regarding the prevention or management of work related stress, or would like to learn more about Peninsula’s Employee Assistance Programme, please don’t hesitate to contact our expert employment law advisors via our 24 Hour Advice Service on 01 855 5050.

Suggested Resources