Over recent years there have been many attempts to reduce teacher workload by government. Some have been in part successful and some haven’t really touched the surface. Irrespective of national agendas, all employers have an ongoing obligation to ensure that, as far a reasonably practicable, the health of all their employees is not endangered in the course of their work. HSE advise that ‘management systems and control measures must be in place to ensure demands on employees are reasonable’ preventing or minimising the effects of stress.
One of the most effective ways for an employer to approach this obligation is proactively – consider the source and prevention/reduction of stress on the workforce in order to improve productivity and staff morale. The HSE have published management standards which outline six main factors to consider when assessing stress.
It is vital that employers create a genuinely safe and supportive environment where employees feel valued, are able to fulfil their role and are clear on expectations. Managers have a crucial role in ensuring the health and wellbeing of staff and therefore must be well trained and supported in managing people. Cary Cooper, 50th anniversary professor of organisational psychology and health at Alliance Manchester Business School and HR Most Influential Hall of Fame Thinker, explained that “a bad line manager can be dangerous to their subordinates’ health”. This means that effective management training to build knowledge and understanding is key to successfully managing employee wellbeing. Our sister company FusionHR, offer a range of courses under management consultancy services including ‘key skills to effectively managing people’ and ‘iLead’, a course designed to gain skills in winning hearts and capturing minds.
What are the next steps?
- Consider the demands on your staff, taking into account the current nature of your workforce, different roles and management data available
- Agree actions, responsibility and timescales for preventing/ minimising stress using the management standards
- Ensure regular reviews of your risk assessment. Incorporate thinking on employee stress factors in to regular operational planning activity and meetings.
Our sister company Fusion, have also produced an updated risk assessment template and guidance on stress which includes some practical examples of working to prevent stress and advice on how to recognise and manage stress when it does occur. There is also an employee stress questionnaire template, which can be used as an employee survey tool or on an individual basis required. If you would like to know more take a look at their website for more information or give them a call on 01924 827869.
SAM can help you monitor stress and manage absence cases so action is taken promptly and staff are better supported. If you would like a demonstration of SAM please call 01924 907319.