There’s been a plethora of articles in the management press and in management-oriented social media recently declaring that mental health is a big issue in firms. Here we temper this alarmism and give a practical three point plan comprising knowledge, awareness and sensing and intervention.
This article proposes a practical approach to managing of work based stress. It suggests use of the HSE Management Standards to describe six forces that need to be balanced. It then elaborates this to include these forces in a feedback model to suggest a method by which managers can actually manage reduction in stress through control of stressors and increase in coping.
Managers expect that employees will turn up on time and be upbeat, fit and well and ready to do what’s asked of them. Employees expect that managers will give them interesting, good quality work that’s within their capabilities. But much can go wrong. There's much spillover degrading employee wellbeing. Managers must step up and embrace their responsibility to manage whole-employee wellbeing, albeit recognising that a big part of the scope of that responsibility will be marked ‘private’.
The Health and Safety Executive has published a framework covering six areas that might result in an employee or employees suffering stress at work (the HSE Management Standards). These are things like lack of control over work and lack of management support. As we note in articles on our site, this framework is a good way of thinking about stress.
Performance appraisals are worthwhile. Manager and subordinate sitting down together to review performance over the past year provides huge benefit. But for many it’s a time of dread. Unless controlled, both parties will use their power to distort the performance appraisal outcomes in their favour.
In the 1980s, a fairly standard form of appraisal emerged that aimed to assess current performance, improve the individual's performance in the immediate future, set and review performance objectives and assess training and development needs. This paper considers development since then considering applicable research and theory. It concludes that despite methods allowing performance appraisal to become more complex, the themes from the 80s persist today.