Six steps for complying with HSE's workplace stress standards

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Stress at Work

By now, we should all be aware of the fact that stress can have a profound impact on employee wellbeing, productivity, and overall workplace morale.

Improving employee wellbeing has also become a key focus for businesses across the globe, as they recognise both their duties towards workers and the potential benefits of taking action.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Management Standards are guidelines designed to help organisations effectively manage and reduce the risk of work-related stress in the workplace.

Six Standards

There are six primary HSE Management Standards, each addressing a specific aspect of workplace stress:

  1. Demands: The first HSE standard ensures that workloads and expectations are reasonable and manageable. It aims to prevent stress caused by excessive job requirements. Striking the right balance in terms of workload can be crucial for employee wellbeing.
  2. Control: Control empowers employees by giving them a say in how they perform their tasks and make decisions related to their work. A sense of autonomy can reduce stress as employees feel more in charge of their work lives.
  3. Support: Providing support to employees is vital. It includes offering resources and training to ensure workers feel supported by their workplace.
  4. Relationships: Positive workplace relationships are at the heart of a stress-free environment. Effective communication, teamwork, and preventing bullying and harassment can contribute to an overall healthier workplace.
  5. Role: Clarifying job roles ensures that employees understand their responsibilities. Uncertainty in this area can lead to confusion and stress.
  6. Change: Managing change effectively is essential to prevent stress during transition periods. Employees need to be informed, engaged, and supported during times of change.

Six Steps

Now that you know the standards, let's explore six actionable steps to enhance adherence.

The following steps are quick and actionable, helping you make a difference easily. Remember, improving workplace wellbeing doesn't need to be overly complex.

  1. Demands: Implement a transparent task-tracking system to help employees view and manage their assignments efficiently.
  2. Control: Allow employees to customise their physical workspace to enhance their comfort.
  3. Support: Send one monthly email reminding employees of the internal and external mental health support.
  4. Relationships: Publish a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and harassment and communicate it clearly to all employees.
  5. Role: In the future, when creating new job advertisements, ensure that the content accurately reflects the job's responsibilities and requirements. Doing this can align the ad's expectations and the job's true nature, leading to a better match between new hires and the actual role.
  6. Change: Create a feedback mechanism, which could be as simple as an email account, for employees to share their thoughts and concerns about ongoing changes.

If you'd like more guidance on doing this, you can get in touch with us at [email protected]

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