Abstracts: June 25th, 2008

Research funded by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the Health and Safety Executive and Investors in People has led to the development of a competency framework setting out the key management behaviours for managing stress at work.

Work-related stress accounts for over a third of all new incidences of ill health. Stress and other mental health problems are the second biggest cause of working time lost to sickness absence, costing the UK an estimated 26bn pounds a year.

Stress within the workplace can come from many directions and include both internal and external factors. There are numerous common causes of workplace stress including high workloads, unrealistic deadlines, job insecurity, lack of clarity of role, and a sense of feeling undervalued. However, roles without sufficient levels of challenge, lack of clear policies and procedures, and poorly managed organizational change may also lead to stress.

The framework will help organisations manage the problem of stress and encourage managers to tackle stress in the workplace. It includes competency headings such as acting with integrity, managing conflict, empathetic engagement, and managing emotions.

The research report provides managers with a clear understanding of those behaviours that should be shown and those that should be avoided to help minimise stress and improve wellbeing for those that they manage.

The report is available from CIPD. http://www.cipd.co.uk