If you are stressed about stress, then I should apologise now. This issue of
Personnel Today is not likely to make you feel any better.
We have dissected the whole issue of stress, produced startling new research
with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and concluded that it is time for
HR to beat it both professionally and personally.
Our investigations provide damning evidence about the scale of the problem –
for which HR must take at least some responsibility. Work-related stress is caused
by factors the profession can and should do something about – it is about the
design, organisation and management of work. Judging by our findings, many
organisations have not embraced best practice in these three fundamental areas
and are running ridiculous risks with their people, competitiveness and
To understand stress is to appreciate how people respond differently to a
range of pressures. Work is an emotional place, and increasingly so as
employers grapple with widespread change, cost-cutting and performance demands.
But when managed properly, stress can be a good thing.
Stress is a complex problem hampering thousands of workers across all
sectors, but there is evidence that unmotivated staff are jumping on the
bandwagon and using it as an excuse to skive.
This week and next, Personnel Today will aim to convince employers that
tackling the causes of stress should be top of their agenda. There is a
business case, a moral argument and regulations all forcing you to adopt a more
coherent approach to stress. Personnel Today is offering plenty of guidance in
this magazine, and through our website, Personneltoday.com, on what to do next.
The HSE also provides fantastic resources to help you prepare for the stress
management standards it is introducing next year.
Don’t wait for stress to blight your organisation – focus on the causes now
and live up to your vision as a responsible employer.
By Jane King, editor