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Representative, manager or owner of an SME

These pages are for people that work in or for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). These are defined as organisations that employ between 5 and 250 people.

Those in authority are essential for promoting health and well-being within the company. If they support positive beliefs and attitudes it sets the tone and culture of the organisation, especially when sensitive issues like stress and mental health are discussed.

Research has shown that the management standards approach is equally as applicable to such SMEs and that the elements of the Indicator and Analysis Tools, in particular offered the ‘time poor’ SME manager a quick and easy method for identifying problems.

During the research the majority of SME managers reported that conducting the process of risk assessment provided business benefits that outweighed the costs of implementation. Some SMEs were able to pinpoint stress-related problems and identify a mechanism for discussing them. In other cases, where the participants had thought the company was free from problems, issues were identified that may have otherwise remained a source of work-related stress.

Key messages

  • Everyone in the organisation has responsibility for tackling Work related stress, involving unions, staff representatives and employees is critical to raise awareness and improve employee health & well being.
  • Employers underestimate the extent to which employees are suffering from stress or other forms of mental illness.
  • Most organisations will have some form of stress-related problems, the key is to find out where and what the problems are, and how and why they happen. The Management Standards help you decide how to make changes and is a way to measure performance.
  • Recognise Work related stress is a legitimate health and safety issue and can be dealt with like any other health and safety risk.
  • You may play a critical role in specifying task and job requirements and allocating individual job roles, your actions and behaviour could have an impact on the quality of working life of your team.
  • You should play a major role in communication ensuring information goes both ways between senior staff and employees.

Your role in the Management Standards

Your role with individuals

Find out more

Resources for SMEs

Whilst these tools are not all specific to SMEs they are designed for use by any organisation of any size, including SMEs.

Occupational health for SMEs

Updated 2015-03-26