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Useful Articles - Managing Stress

Language and positioning experience drawn from a number of organisations shows that the language and positioning of stress management and mental well-being programmes are important factors for employers to consider.

Marks and Spencer

At Marks and Spencer, the term 'pressure' was chosen. "'Pressure' is neutral - neither good or bad. However 'stress' can be a loaded term which some will interpret as the reactions of wimps", comments independent consultant Stephen Williams. "A risk assessment that is described as a pressure profile does not presume that all who are under pressure are experiencing stress. As a result, it seems less threatening."

Glaxo Smith Kline

At Glaxo Smith Kline the issue was described in terms of 'organisational resilience'. "This strikes a balance between focusing on the individual and on the organisation," comments Employee Health Manager, Sue Cruse. "It's not perceived as a touchy feely subject. Rather, it's about how we build a resilient organisation with people who are functioning well."

Augusta Westland

At Augusta Westland training around stress management is fully integrated into the standard management training scheme. "Sometimes companies can be too coy about stress and mental illness," comments Simon Jones, Employee Relations Manager. "By integrating our staff training, we've created an acceptance that it's normal to be stressed and not a sign of failure. We've also insured that all managers are given some basic tools to tackle the issue both in themselves and in their staff."