How do I assess stress?

The key areas that have to be monitored to assess stress

There are six key areas (also known as risk factors) which, if not managed effectively, can lead to your employees becoming stressed.

These are:

• Demands e.g. workload

• Control e.g. how much input an individual has in what they do

• Support e.g. encouragement and resources

• Relationships e.g. with colleagues

• Role e.g. understanding your job role

• Change e.g. how it is managed and communicated

After the hazards have been identified you must determine who will be the most affected by these issues, and in what way. The best ways you can do this are:

• Using historical data on sick days or past staff surveys

• Use a specialist stress audit questionnaire

• Discuss the issue with your employees

Using this information you can see how your business is handling stress, and by discussing the results with your employees you can formulate steps to reduce the stress they feel. You should record both the results and the steps that you are planning on taking. Once you have made noticeable improvements you should let the staff know, but equally if something is not working then you should discuss other options.

It must also be said that this is not a one off process, and should be an ongoing task, to ensure that your business is stress free and productive.