Tolley’s Managing Stress in the Workplace

Not a read for passing time while on a train journey, this book (with a serious price tag of £61.95) is for the professional manager who needs to be up-to-date with the legal and moral obligations of being an employer. One to read and then keep close at hand.

Tolley’s Managing Stress in the Workplace
By Carole Spiers
Publisher: LexisNexis
Price: £61.95 ISBN 075451269X
Reviewed by Keith Lawson
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Carole Spiers draws on more than 30 years’ experience in the discipline of stress management, and has the distinct advantage that she can also write well.

Far too often, these academic-style tomes make dry reading, and hardly motivate the reader to continue (business and MBA students will be able to relate to that). But this is a well-structured book that does not neglect the facts and advice the employer needs.

Back to the price – it is all relative. How much does it cost to have a worker off sick with stress-related illness? How much for lost business? How much in tribunal payouts? And how much to have a consultant available 24/7? Value for money? Dispel any doubts immediately.

The author takes the reader through the nature of stress, into current legislation, the health and safety framework, then into the practicalities and key examples of stress in the workplace. The book is full of case studies and advice. I can imagine some executive at a tribunal saying: “I was not aware of the effect stress was having on this employee,” and then being shown this book (rather like that box of headache tablets in the TV advert) and asked “Why not?”

Frivolity aside, this is a serious subject, which is well-treated and explained. I expect that this will be compulsory reading for all HR managers and directors, as well as company secretaries and business managers with responsibilities for people.

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Keith Lawson is a consultant with the Centre for Management and Personal Development

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