Recession forces employers to step up stress management
The recession has forced employers to increase their focus on management of stress among employees in the workplace, according to a survey by human resources website XpertHR.
Over half of the HR professionals surveyed felt the economic downturn had affected their organisation’s stress management measures. This compared with more than two-thirds at the same point last year, suggesting that budgetary constraints and having to deal with the recession had proved a distraction.
Nearly nine in 10 said they would step up activities to deal with rising levels of employee stress, although just four in 10 admitted to having provided training for stress management in the past 12 months.
Two-thirds of the managers polled said that competent line management and training of line managers were the keys to effectively managing stress.
Organisations had a wide range of measures to prevent and manage work-related stress, with most employers polled introducing, on average, at least six different interventions to deal with stress at work, and at least eight responses for managing stress-related absences.
Rachel Suff, the report’s author and a researcher at XpertHR, said: “All employers offer a phased return to work, for example, while 81% make provision for one-to-one discussions between managers and team members about stress issues.
“Developing a framework like this means an employer is better equipped to respond to the individualised way in which employees can experience stress. One case of work-related stress can be very different from another, and therefore what is needed to encourage individual employees back to work will also vary,” she added.