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What is work-related stress?

Our first step is to explore what we mean by work-related stress. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) lists work-related stress under the headings below.

We explain them each in simple terms and have added some helpful tips on how to think about them:

At this time, you will likely be placing more demands on your staff. Some of those staff may not be your normal team members.

Try to match skills and abilities of your team to the job demands you are asking them to do. If you are asking them to do unusual tasks, explain why and remember to thank them.

The pace of work will be higher under Covid-19 conditions and you and your team have less control over how you normally do your jobs.

Encourage your team to develop new skills where possible and aim to talk to your team more, not less, at this time. Quick, 3-minute briefings can help you and your team be in better control of the task at hand.

Support for each other is critical.

Try and find a few minutes per shift, per team member to check in on their wellbeing. Asking how people are feeling really helps – even if you cannot immediately take the stress away. Be aware of additional support to signpost people to if they need and encourage team members to support each other too.

You may be operating under command conditions Make sure your team know their roles & responsibilities. Do not assume they do. Remind everyone but do it in as supportive a way as you can.

People generally don’t like change, but some people thrive during change.

If you are changing what your team do or how they work, try and explain why so that your team understand.

Relationships can become tense during stress periods.

We explore practical tips on managing team relationships throughout the rest of this guide.

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