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Risk Management for Work Stress at COMPUSMART Institute of Work, Health & Organisations (I-WHO) University of Nottingham, UK www.i-who.org.

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Presentation on theme: "Risk Management for Work Stress at COMPUSMART Institute of Work, Health & Organisations (I-WHO) University of Nottingham, UK www.i-who.org."— Presentation transcript:

1 Risk Management for Work Stress at COMPUSMART Institute of Work, Health & Organisations (I-WHO) University of Nottingham, UK

2 COMPUSMART Established in 1988: 5 branches, 27 members of staff, plus managers John and Mark 2 PT administrators, 2 PT technical support officers 7 female, rest male 12 hold University degree, 3 have postgraduate qualification Each branch: 1 administrator, 1 technical support officer, 1 sales representative, 2 technical services and software development officers – extra administrator and technical officer at headquarters Main activities: technical support and services, software development and sales

3 Stress factors and impact of stress Increased workload, long hours, pressure, musculoskeletal pain, worry about company future, lack of staff development 3 branches with open plan layout: complaints about lack of privacy and noise Managers supportive of staff, informal climate, friendly atmosphere, good relationships btw colleagues Flexible work arrangements for mothers External experts’ help sought to deal with problems

4 What are the difficulties facing SMEs and how may these be linked to work-related stress?

5 Is it easier or more difficult to tackle stress in small companies?

6 Why is the role of the manager crucial in smaller companies?

7 How can small companies seek and choose appropriate support in relation to work- related stress issues?

8 Risk assessment methodology and implementation (1) Risk management = risk assessment + risk reductionRisk management = risk assessment + risk reduction Examination of organisational data on company policies, absence, staff turnover, accidents, illnesses, staff complaints, productivity Steering group Workplace observations, work analysis interviews Risk assessment survey: identify key issues of concern and their relationship with stress and musculoskeletal problems

9 Risk assessment methodology and implementation (2) Issues of concern as reported by the majority of staff: work organisation (allocation of tasks, setting and dealing with priorities, clarity of job descriptions), workload and working hours (long and irregular working hours), communication of company situation and vision, staff development, open plan workspace layout in 3 branches

10 What are the main steps of the risk assessment process?

11 What is the role of the steering group and who should participate in it?

12 How are interviewees for the work analysis interviews selected?

13 What is the aim of the risk assessment survey?

14 Prevention and intervention techniques (1) Action Innovation Workshop: at the end of a working day ( ) Experts presented findings to staff and requested that they work together and with the management team to identify appropriate interventions to tackle the identified problems, taking into consideration existing constraints Aim: to identify the minimum number of actions to tackle the maximum number of issues

15 Prevention and intervention techniques (2) Work organisation: clear and concise job descriptions to be developed for each job position, stating the tasks corresponding to each position; a meeting to be held first thing on each working day to discuss priorities for the day Workload and working hours: management team to look into possibility of hiring more FT or PT staff as necessary

16 Prevention and intervention techniques (3) Communication of company situation and vision: management team to circulate memo every 3 months to inform members of staff on issues in relation to company policy and development Staff development: management team to implement a proper staff appraisal scheme, aiming at staff development Open plan branches: explore moving or redesigning office layout

17 Prevention and intervention techniques (4) Action Innovation report: agreed actions, within specified timeframe and identifying who is responsible for their implementation Management team to keep detailed records of productivity, absence, accidents, illnesses and staff complaints

18 What are the key factors of success of an Action Innovation Workshop?

19 What are the responsibilities of the experts and of the members of staff?

20 Evaluation of risk management process and intervention (1) Timeframe for evaluating the results of the interventions and the risk management process depend on: availability of resources, commitment on behalf of the organisation, the number and nature of the interventions that are implemented Recommended that the risk management process is repeated on a yearly basis Evaluation through interviews, examination of organisational data and re-administering the risk assessment survey

21 Evaluation of risk management process and intervention (2) COMPUSMART: positive outcomes, reduced levels of stress and musculoskeletal pain, lower absenteeism, higher productivity Company developed a stress policy and committed to repeating the process every year

22 What might be a reasonable timeframe to evaluate the implemented interventions?

23 What is the benefit of evaluation?

24 What are the advantages and disadvantages of external experts carrying out the evaluation process?


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