What to do next

Review your organisation's policies and procedures

The next stage in HSE's stress Management Standards is to consider whether your organisation's policies and procedures should be reviewed in the light of the findings from your risk assessment. Policies that may need review include:

  • bullying
  • harassment
  • sickness absence (maintaining contact when employees are off sick and return to work interviews)
  • equality, where this deals with mental health issues and reasonable adjustments

Often policies and procedures do not adequately reflect current ways of working. As organisations are constantly changing, it may be worth reviewing all your policies and procedures regularly.

Make the Management Standards part of everyday activity

The Management Standards are concerned with preventing and managing common health problems and improving the performance of your organisation.

Since the process is continuous, the evaluation and monitoring activities in Step 5 will merge naturally into everyday management.

Whether you use the Management Standards approach or an alternative approach to risk assessment, this should be part of the normal day-to-day activities of your line managers, and integrated into their role as far as possible. Having made the investment it would be a waste to fail to monitor and manage the problems.

Develop your managers

Try to identify and develop the competencies your managers need to manage potential sources of work-related stress. Research shows that there is considerable overlap between the competencies required for preventing and reducing sources of stress and general management competencies. Our line manager competency indicator tool enables managers to assess whether these stress management behaviours are part of their repertoire or not, and identify any gaps in skills or behaviours.

Develop your employees

If you provide information to your employees that allows them to recognise when they are beginning to to have problems they will be able to seek the help they need earlier. This means any damage will be minimised and they will not need so much time, if any, off sick.


Review the risk assessment regularly and particularly after significant change, and check whether you need to put in place new or more interventions.

Alternative approaches

If you have alternative risk assessments arrangements in place, 'Do I have to follow the Management Standards approach?' will help you to check that you are doing enough.

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Updated 2023-04-04