Human Resource Manager
Human Resource staff are often on the front line in dealing with cases of work related stress – especially in liaison with line managers and occupational health – and dealing with associated attendance management issues. HR staff are also responsible for the generation and maintenance of many of the relevant policies and procedures that apply to this issue. You will be instrumental in preparing the organisation to run the Management Standards process.
- Cases of Work related stress can be prevented as well as managed. Active case management can affect early and successful return to work.
- The Management Standards can help you control sickness absence, staff turnover and will help with recruitment and retention. The Standards have also been found useful in structuring return to work interviews and programmes.
- Much of the data collected by HR systems and procedures can be used to inform the Management Standards process. Often your existing policies and procedures can be used or adapted to do something equivalent to it.
- Risk assessment will highlight where your existing policies and procedures might not be working as effectively as they might be, and also where data collection systems might be improved.
- Using the Management Standards, or an equivalent approach, will demonstrate that you are serious about tackling the problem and are meeting your legal requirements.
- Working actively in collaboration with occupational health and health and safety can have a particularly beneficial effect on outcomes.
Your role in the Management Standards
- Human Resource staff members are ideally placed to act as Board level champions or as day-to-day project managers for the Management Standards. Organising, planning and resourcing such projects is often the responsibility of HR departments.
- Providing relevant data and feedback to the Board.
- Engage and communicate with staff about this issue and raise awareness.
- Engage effectively with Trade Union representatives to ensure appropriate workforce involvement in the process.
- Supporting line managers in managing individuals experiencing stress and helping them return to work.
- To work with others, including your Health and Safety advisors and line managers, in implementing solutions identified by staff and monitoring and reviewing their effectiveness.
- Reviewing relevant policies and procedures.
- Providing appropriate training in the area of work related stress, mental health and well-being.
- Liaison with those who may have important data like Employee Assistance Programmes.
The HSE has developed a number of useful aids to help you with these tasks. Access these tools
Your role with individuals
- However proactive organisations are with prevention initiatives there will always be individual cases – systems must be in place for early identification and onward referral. HR managers are often responsible for the co-ordination of the organisational response to a potential or actual case of work related stress (see defining a case) usually in conjunction with Occupational Health and line management. They are often instrumental in organising programmes of rehabilitation and return to work.
- Some individuals feel most comfortable approaching their union or safety representative but you may be asked for support from individuals especially where the issue is to do with relationships with their line manager.
- Provide tailored training for individuals and managers.