Stress management standards: a warning indicator for employee health

2015-11-11T16:24:02Z (GMT) by Aadil Kazi Cheryl Haslam
Background: Psychological stress is a major cause of lost working days in the UK. The Health and Safety Executive have developed Management Standards (MS) to help organisations to assess work-related stress. Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between the MS Indicator Tool and employee health, job attitudes, work performance and environmental outcomes. Methods: The first phase involved a survey employing the MS Indicator Tool, GHQ-12, job attitudes, work performance and environmental measures. Three hundred and four call centre employees from a large utility company responded. The second phase comprised six focus groups to investigate what employees believed contributed to their perceived stress. Results: Significant negative correlations were found between GHQ-12 and two MS dimensions; demands (Rho = -0.211, p = 0.000) and relationships (Rho = -0.134, p = 0.02). Other dimensions showed no significant relationship with GHQ-12. Higher levels of stress were associated with reduced job performance, job motivation and increased intention to quit but low stress levels were associated with reduced job satisfaction. Lack of management support, recognition and development opportunities were identified as sources of stress. Conclusion: The findings support the utility of the MS as a measure of employee attitudes and performance.