Our NHS People

Managing work-related stress

The HSE list key skills managers need to prevent and reduce stress. We have focused on some of them here with actions for living them out.

Being a role model and showing your team you are there to support them.

Treating your team with respect: thinking about your words, tone and actions.

Being honest: not making promises you cannot keep, doing what you say you will do and acknowledging with an apology if something inhibits your commitments.

Being consistent and fair in your management practices.

Treating everyone the way they’d like to be treated: acknowledging equity when offering support.

Staying calm and encouraging staff to share suggestions on how to work quicker and more efficiently.

Trying not to pass on your own emotions to your team.

Using a ten-minute‘ pause space’ can help you and your team find space to re-set, recharge and re-commit: Creating a 10-minute pause space.

Being realistic with your deadlines.

If you need things to be done quicker, explain why.

If your team are experienced, let them get on with their job.

Offering support and signposting when your team needs it.

Showing interest in them and their family – it means a lot simply to ask after others’ loved ones.

Encouraging your team to think differently about their work.

Encouraging them to self-organise but remind them of key objectives.

Working alongside your team shows you are part of the team.

Monitoring what works and what needs to change.

Discussing with your team your thoughts for planning and managing workloads.

Setting emotions to one side when an issue arises helps to deal rationally with problems.

Following up on team queries/suggestions and deal with them as quickly as you can.

Delegating more responsibilities – providing the team have the skills.

Keeping the team informed as to what is happening: Information and communication are key!

Speaking to your team collectively on key goals/objectives.

Making time for 1-to-1 to support.

Remembering to say thank you: Thank you messages are key motivators.

When appropriate, remember your humour. Humour can de-stress.

Listening when a team member asks for help.

Trying to see things from other’s point of view.

Treating everyone with equal respect and asking how they are.

Don’t assume team members are ok: Check with each person at the end of the shift.

Re-state your thanks for your team’s hard work and commitment. Remind them they are important.

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