ILM-Institute of leadership and management Certificate in leadership and management Level 3 WORK BASED ASSIGNMENT Reflective Review M3. 15 Managing stress in the workplace Managing Stress Causes of Stress in the organisation Stress can be caused by many different things within an organisation but the main causes of stress can be broken down into “six management standards” Anon (2009) how to tackle work related stress http://www. se. gov. uk/ I used these areas to construct the chart below and discussed stress at a team meeting and asked my team to complete a Circle of influence around areas over which they felt they had no control Appendix 1 we also discussed what we / I could do to manage the six main causes of stress results of which are shown below.
Main causes of stress: | What you can do about it:| Demands: Staff often become overloaded if they cannot cope with the amount of work or type of work they are asked to do| Pay attention to the way the job is designed, training needs and whether it is possible for staff to work more flexible hours| Control: Staff can feel disaffected and perform poorly if they have no say over how and when they do their work. Think about how staff are actively involved in decision making, the contribution made by teams and how reviewing performance can help identify strengths and weaknesses| Support: levels of sick absence often rise if staff feel they cannot talk to managers about issues that are troubling them| Give staff/individuals the opportunity to talk about the issues causing stress, provide a sympathetic ear and keep them informed| Relationships: a failure to build relationships based on good behavior and trust can lead to problems elated to discipline, grievances and bullying| Check the organisation’s policies for handling grievances, unsatisfactory performance, poor attendance and misconduct, and for tackling bullying and harassment| Role: Staff will feel anxious about their work and the organisation if they don’t know what is expected of them | Review the induction process, work out an accurate job description and maintain a close link between individual targets and organisational goals| Change: change needs to be managed effectively or it can lead to huge uncertainty and insecurity. Plan ahead so change doesn’t come out of the blue. Consult with staff so they have a real input, and work together to solve problems| Impact of stress in the work place From an organisational point of view stress can cost money in increased absence therefore increased workload for those who remain at work this could have a knock on affect to those remaining at work as demands increase, if these demands continue for an extended length of time other members of the team could possibly be absent from work or leave.
An Individuals stress can, as well as causing them ill health or fatigue may also cause friction with others who may feel resentful and see a person’s behavior not as stress related but as been awkward, unfriendly or just lazy this can affect teams relationships. Stress does not always manifest its way just in absence levels it affects organisations in many other ways as follows:- * Increase in staff turn over * Poor quality work * Increase in complaints * Poor Communication * Possible loss of contracts Symptoms of stress Stress comes in different forms:-
Individual stress – relating to relationships or personal problems – these can also be reduced with the right kind of understanding and support. Organisational stress- caused by poor management or the lack of company policies for dealing with bullying or discipline. Personally many individuals have increased stress levels at times, I have come to recognise that I find it hard to concentrate on individual tasks and often avoid doing tasks I do not like. Additionally as a smoker I smoke more, feel anxious and my attention to detail decreases.
I found that within my team the symptoms of stress were much the same and were based around areas that the teams felt were beyond their control such as the currant economic climate and the affect that job cuts may have on them as individuals. A discussion with the team revealed that they all felt the organisation did not communicate enough information on how future cuts may affect them and this caused some or all of symptoms below 1. Increased drinking of alcohol 2. Unable to concentrate 3. Loss of sense of humor 4. Feeling not as able to cope with life, feeling out of control 5.
Permanently tired even after sleep 6. Feeling pressured to perform or lose job 7. Feeling pressured to come to work even if sick or lose job Stress Management Technique To help reduce stress for myself, even through I know its quite common practice for most managers I would write down a list of all my tasks and then put them in priority order according to timescales, importance and whether I could or could not delegate the task I would also consider how long they might take, having a list especially when I am feeling stressed helps me focus and ticking areas off can have a positive effect on me as the list reduces.
However as my discussion with my team revealed a large amount of anxiety within the team around job cuts and job security I decided that as this was an area they all felt they had little or no control, that even through I could not change what would happen I could explore the facts and try to decrease the stress they were all feeling by talking to senior managers about any information they had, compiling the information to give the team some idea of how secure the coming months or years could be.
For this purpose I completed an action plan and under the standard area section wrote Change and under the desired state section wrote Control and Support see Appendix 2. The present situation was that as xxxxxxxxx was such a large organisation a lot of information my team were getting was based on other teams or individuals talking at training or events that brought them together, the main topic for everyone was the cuts and rumours of 75% or more workers losing their jobs, this combined with a tiered wage reduction was making many teams anxious about their future in terms of income and whether they should be looking for other work or not.
Many meetings planned by our funders were moved back to later months which made team members even more anxious as the belief was these meetings would give more clarity on the situation. When the meeting did take place figures given did not have any real meaning and this served only to worry staff even more. Team members wanted more information, they were aware that cuts had to happen but felt the Change that they all accepted, was not been managed well or communicated well to them.
Using the action plan I wrote information down from figures already communicated and from a meeting arranged with my line manager was given other information that allowed me a better picture of the situation and also helped me communicate clarity on some of the percentages that had been given. The figures I received allowed me to work out and provide a detailed handout and discuss what it would actually mean to the team in terms of actual cuts against rumored cuts and also gave more clarity on the expected dates some of the changes would take place and how they would be phased in.
This action which was simply communicating better led to the team feeling more positive as they expressed at team meeting that they felt more informed and hence more in control, yes cuts were going to happen but they now knew when and how many would be affected, what the worst case and best case scenario was, this allowed individuals to make their own informed decisions hence plan and feel more positive. The situation got even better over a number of team meetings as new contracts and new information was discussed the teams commitment and energy returned.
This change can be explained with more clarity using the Scott and Jaffe change model (1995) which clearly describes the stage my team was at as been that of “resistance” to then “exploration then commitment” as information about the budget cuts were given. Scott and Jaffe change model (1995) Pre-Action Plan Searching for meaning / Clarity Imagining the future Letting go of the past Confusion / chaos Acceptance of reality Energy, Application, Enthusiasm, Cooperation, Responsibility Supporting individuals in the team Management responsibilities in relation to work related stress
Employers have a duty under the “management of Health and Safety Regulations,”1999, to access the risk of stress related ill health that may arise from work activities, and under the Health and Safety at work act 1974,to take measures to control that risk. It is the organisations responsibility to ensure the relevant policy and procedure is in place to ensure those who manage in the organisation do so correctly some of this policy relates to the correct way to manage individuals in the workplace in-order to ensure all employees work in a safe and as stress free environment as possible and are managed in a consistent and fair way.
As a team leader I have a responsibility towards my team to ensure my approach is fair and consistent with each individual and to ensure I do this I apply Frameworks policy’s and procedures that are available not just for me to access at anytime but also for the team. * Recruitment ;Selection policy- ensures peoples skills and abilities match job role and demands. * Employee handbook- ensures team members know their rights and also responsibilities. * Induction-Ensures all staff are introduced to the existing team and trained around processes. Supervision Policy and Procedure-To provide one to one support / provide regular and constructive feedback * Team Meetings-Provide Team Support / encourage employees to support their colleagues * Training Procedure –Encourages team to develop or improve skills * Sickness Procedure-Explains clearly too all team members about return to work interviews and the process. * Code of Conduct-Ensures all team members are aware of the boundaries of their role and what is and what is not expected of them. Whistle Blowing Policy-Enables and encourages team members to report unacceptable behaviour * Disciplinary Policy- Enables managers to also deal with unacceptable behaviour. As an individual my management actions are mostly dictated by the policy and procedures in place and these are used to ensure a consistent approach to the team I manage, I do and can however exercise some discretion when dealing with individuals as long as I maintain a documented and consistent pproach for others if a similar situation should arise, I would also liaise with HR to ensure any actions I may take are correct and a good practice approach to dealing with stress related issues. External Support Counselling –Advising –Mentoring New team members often seek to be advised during supervision around their role, and are often allocated an experienced member of team as a mentor when starting with us or taking on additional responsibility even if experienced in their existing role.
As a Team Leader, on an individuals return to work after an absence for whatever reason, I am required to ensure I arrange a one to one return to work interview and document it following the sickness and absence return to work procedure. The cause of a person’s absence will be discussed and appropriate action taken, the chart below shows various issues and the actions I may take around mentoring, advice or counselling.
As an organisation we belong to a (HMAP) heath matters assistance programme this allows me or HR to refer a member of the team for counselling with team members permission. HMAP also cover a large range of other issues from bereavement and separation to health and wellbeing advice and are employed as part of the organisational commitment to employees. Employees are actively encouraged via e-mail newsletter and HR net to contact them or talk to a manager before matters become more serious and encourage individuals to seek help.
Issue| Action| Policy/procedure relevant or refer to:-| Return to work after short term sickness| One off sickness-Follow procedure Advise| Sickness /absence procedure| Continuous one day/2 day short term sickness| Advise/Mentor| Sickness absence procedureCapability policy/procedureAdvise of (HMAP)| Return to work after long term sickness| Mentor, Advise refer to (HMAP) if team member requires| (HMAP)If in agreementSickness absence procedureMay UseCapability policy/procedure| Working prior to maternity leave| Advise/MentorEnsure worker is risk ssessed at various stages –Supportive supervisions increased. | Employee HandbookHealth and safety /Risk Management| Return to work after maternity leave| Advise, mentor| Employee Handbook| Return to work after a lengthy secondment | Advise, mentor| Employee Handbook| Appendix 1- Circle of influence Exploring areas where staff felt they no control Situations or Problems which I have no control Situations over which I have some control or Influence Job Security Cuts Having to move Teams because of the cuts
Lack of Information regarding job Cuts Losing My Job Situations which I have control Action Plan (April 2011) Appendix 2 Standard areaCHANGE| Desired stateControlSupport| Currentstate| Practicalsolutions| Who willtake theworkForward| When| How will staffReceive feedback | ActionCompleted | Workers have expressed anxiety around proposed job cut. | More Information and clarityPlanned changes? 1. What do the percentages mean? | Little or no informationOr meaningless percentages | Compile information so far; arrange 1 to 1 with my line manager.
Update regular at team meeting so the team can support each over | Team Leader| ASAP| At our weeklyTeam Meeting| YesJune 2011| List of references Anon (2009) the six management standards http://www. hse. gov. uk/ accessed 02/09/2011 Covey R (1992) the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People 2nd Edition publication Simon ; Schuster Scott C and Jaffe D (1995) Managing Organisational Change published by Crisp Publications (Menlo Park, Calif. )