All staff may experience periods of pressure at work at some time, and short periods of pressure are not necessarily of concern. It is the risk from sustained and/or excessive pressure, without the opportunity to recover, that needs to be assessed and measures put in place to control the risk of adverse effects.
Major University-wide initiatives should always include an assessment of the potential for work-related stress, and how this can be mitigated, for example, by the provision of appropriate training and support, ensuring effective and timely communication, by giving consideration to the timing of new initiatives to avoid conflicting deadlines and priorities, by ensuring the demands on staff are not otherwise excessive, and by seeking to ensure a supportive management culture.
Similarly, departmental managers should have arrangements in place to identify and address potential stressors in the workplace - for example, regular review of sickness absence records/certificates, particularly those indicating stress, data on staff turnover, trends emerging from personal development reviews (appraisals), and issues raised in individual and staff meetings and by local staff representatives. Where workplace stressors need to be assessed on an individual basis, however, the HSE management standards provide a useful broad template for recognising and categorising possible stress factors, and the checklist may be a useful tool in this context.
The University is committed to improving management practice through the provision of guidance, training and support, the promotion of harassment prevention policies, as well as supporting positive initiatives such as personal development review and merit review schemes to recognise and enhance individual contribution to the work of the University.
The University's Occupational Health Service website provides key information about stress, what it is, and how to prevent or manage it, as well as providing links through to other University support services and a range of external resources.
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