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  • International Workplace
  • 4 June 2009
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FMA presentation tackles stress

Ali Moran, HR Consultant with Workplace Law Group, was guest speaker at the Facilities Management Association’s regular ‘last Thursday’ evening networking event, which was held at Morris Office Furniture’s Clerkenwell showrooms at the end of May. 

As part of her talk, Ali gave FMA members some useful pointers on recognising and managing stress within an organisation.

For anyone tempted to ask ‘why bother’ she argued, the statistics show the damage stress can cause, from 13.5 million working days lost every year in this country due to stress, to an average of one month’s sickness absence per employee diagnosed with a stress-based absence. Probably the most significant reason, reflecting the current economic conditions, is the number of people who describe their job as very or extremely stressful has risen from 13.6% in 2007 to 17.1% in 2008.

 

A major hurdle for many employers, she said, is in determining exactly what constitutes stress, but the HSE definition, “the reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them,” is a useful pointer. The causes of stress are multifaceted, she added, with the size of the workload often being the primary cause, but other factors, such as management style, relationships at work, organisational change and pressure to reach targets all play an important part.

 

Ali finished her talk with the signs to look out for amongst individuals and within the organisation as a whole, to help managers ascertain that escalating stress levels aren’t being left unchecked.

 

FMA Director General, Chris Hoar, thanked Ali for her “excellent presentation,” and the audience, who listened attentively to her talk, asked some pertinent questions on the issue.