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Employee or individual

These pages are for any worker covered by the Health and Safety at Work Act. This could be persons in full or part-time, temporary or permanent employment, charity workers and those who are mobile or home workers.

Within the workplace many employees have a primary role, which may also be covered in this (key roles) section of the website (HR Manager, Line manager etc), however, those that have these roles are also individuals and as such may have a dual role within the Management Standards approach.

Key messages

  • Experience of working with organisations has demonstrated that the active participation of employees is a critical component in delivering improvements in workplace health and well being.
  • The role you play as an individual employee is crucial to the successful implementation of the Management Standards approach in your organisation. There are many areas where you can have a positive influence.
  • The Management Standards approach is a participative one that requires the views of all employee groups to be considered at the appropriate stage in the process. To ensure adequate engagement with all groups of employees requires you to participate in communication activities sharing your views in an open and honest fashion.

Your role in the Management Standards

You may be asked to become involved in the Management Standards process, or something that is equivalent to it. It will be useful therefore, if you have some familiarity of both the process (and the steps within it) and the six Management Standards themselves. The states described within the Management Standards represent good practice as far as the prevention of stress is concerned. Your organisation is probably working towards the desirable work characteristics as defined in the Standards themselves.

The second step in the process is for the organisation to collect data to allow a description as to how problems may be manifest within it or part of it. This may be through surveys and questionnaires or similar methods where individual data are combined to give an organisational level picture. Clearly, the more respondents that complete a survey the more accurate and reliable will be the results. At stage three, it is usual to get focus groups or other forums, to take these data and discuss their validity and importance, to actual and current problems on the ground as participants see them.

Individual employee participation at this stage is critical – both in problem definition and working towards possible solutions. This is your opportunity to make your views known, with your work colleagues, in what should be a comfortable and non-confrontational environment. You will be encouraged by the chair of the focus group to develop this material into an action plan that can help address the problems previously identified in the light of your specific and local knowledge. Remember, those closest to the particular aspects of sub-optimal work and work systems design are in the best position to say what needs to be corrected – again this is your opportunity to have a big impact on what is decided upon and what improvements are implemented.

Once interventions have been put in place you will also want to be part of the process that decides how successful they have been and what further changes may be necessary. Interventions usually don’t need to be expensive or time consuming to put into place and there are often learning points that can be used elsewhere in the organisation.

Updated 2011-01-04