Line managers play a vital role in the identification and management of stress within the organisation. They are likely to see the problems causing the stress first hand, will be in the best position to notice changes in staff behaviour that may indicate a stress-related problem and will often be the first point of contact when an individual feels stressed.
But managers also need to think about their behaviour, and how it can either add to the stress their staff experience or help alleviate the problem. Management behaviour is often highlighted as a major factor by those suffering from work related stress.
Training is usually given to those going into management but often they are then left to “get on with it” with no checks on how the manager is coping. It is difficult for managers to get feedback that allows them to assess how their staff are affected by their behaviour – a manager may be doing something that affects their staff but they are unaware of it.
The HSE, in association with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Investors in People, have designed a series of tools to allow managers to assess whether they currently have the behaviours identified as effective for preventing and reducing stress at work; its aim is to help managers reflect on their behaviour and management style.
These tools include a self-assessment tool, one that requires input from the manager’s staff (180°) and one that allows input from staff, senior managers and peers (360°)
This simple tool allows for a self assessment by managers based on their own interpretation of how they behave.
This recently released tool, available on the CIPD/AXA PPP Employee health and wellbeing website, is designed for managers to ask for feedback from colleagues to provide their impression of the managers behaviour and allow them to hold up a mirror to their views and to understand how their behaviour impacts on the people they manage – it also provides on-line learning materials to help them improve their management style.
The tool contains: