Stress 4 Managers

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Stress - Information for managers

Stress is the reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them which are not matched by their ability to cope.

It is both a physiological and psychological reaction which occurs when people perceive an imbalance between the combined levels of demand placed upon them, both at home and/or at work, and their capacity to meet those demands.

Stress can be positive and motivating in the short term, helping to achieve success. Prolonged stress, however, can lead to ill health.

We sometimes have very little control over stressful life events such as illness, bereavement, moving home or job, financial difficulties or relationship problems. However employers have a responsibility to help reduce any stress which may arise in their employees as a result of their work.

Managers play a vital role in the identification and management of stress within the organisation. They are likely to see the problems causing the stress first hand, will often notice changes in staff behaviour that may indicate a stress-related problem and will often be responsible for tackling problems that directly affect an employee’s health through stress.

Managers can help reduce stress at work by:

  • Playing a crucial role in setting the tone for the way people interact with each other
  • Involving employees in decisions that are made about their jobs and how things are done in the workplace
  • Managing organisational change effectively in order to  minimise any potentially negative impact
  • Ensuring jobs are flexible and well-designed
  • Ensuring they are trained and know how to manage common problems in the workplace such as conduct, health problems, poor working relationships, absence
  • Ensuring they are aware of the range of policies and services available to support them in their role

For advice in managing stress at work, contact:

Human Resources
Occupational Health Service


There is a range of training available that can assist with reducing stress at work.

Managing Work Related Stress for Managers

Managing Change