Managing Stress in the Workplace: A Guide for Employers

Almost six in 10 employees (59%) feel stressed because of their work, with those in finance, Government and healthcare under the most strain.

A survey of 3,000 workers found that work was the biggest cause of employee stress, followed by family pressures (45%) and money worries (45%).

Overwork was given as the biggest reason for workplace strain (21%). A quarter said they struggled to be productive when they were stressed and 18% turned to stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol to help them manage.

These results show how important it is that individuals and employers are fully aware of what causes stress and how to tackle it.

So, what is stress?

Stress is defined by the HSE as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’. Studies reveal that circa 0.5 million workers suffer from work-related stress, anxiety and depression, which means 12.5 million working days lost.

What causes stress?

Stress can be caused by many reasons, such as:

  • The demands of the job
  • The control an employee has over their work
  • The support they receive from managers and colleagues
  • Relationships in the workplace
  • The employee’s role in the organisation
  • Organisational change and how its managed.

With all of this in mind we have put together a few tips for managers to help tackle employee stress in the workplace:

Encourage breaks - Studies show that individuals are more productive when taking short breaks every 90 minutes. Some companies now offer facilities that encourage this attitude at work. Some examples of this, are resting rooms, where employees can take short naps during working-hours, and gyms allowing employees to work-out during work.

Encourage Team Building -  Creating a good environment within your team and building strong relationships will encourage an open dialogue, as well as trust. Create team building activities, as well as bonding time after work.

Make sure employees feel valued - Managers should have open lines of communication with staff

Listen - It may seem simple but listening to your employees is a big step when dealing with problems in the workplace. You should keep an open mind to their concerns and help them find a solution. If employees know they can be honest and you will listen compassionately, stress should become less of an issue.

Tackle absences - By suggesting appropriate health services and finding out what is causes work absences.

At UMG, we believe that when employers and employees focus on developing their skills, efficiency and productivity rise, so, for this reason, we have designed a course specially to provide you with the knowledge and skills to effectively tackle stress within your organisation. Signs of stress might not always be obvious or simple to detect, however with our help, we believe you can make a difference in your workplace.

Join Jo Clift, our highly experienced communications professional, on the 27th of November, in our “Effective Stress Management and Personal Resilience” and leave the day equipped with the knowledge, confidence and practical techniques to effectively identify and combat stress.

Join the conversation

We’d love to hear from you. You can tweet us using #UMGTraining @UModernGov.

If you would like to discuss any of the details you have read in this blog; including our ‘Effective Stress Management and Personal Resilience’ training course, please contact us on 0800 542 9440 or email

Can’t make the date?

We can also run this course for you In-house, at your organisation or a venue of your choice, on a date to suit you.

Contact our In-house training team on or call 0800 542 9414 to find out more.