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Preventing Stress in Organizations: How to Develop Positive Managers

ISBN: 978-1-119-99609-5
278 pages
April 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Preventing Stress in Organizations: How to Develop Positive Managers (1119996090) cover image
Preventing Stress in Organizations:How to Develop Positive Managersoffers an innovative, evidence-based approach to help managers prevent and reduce workplace stress in their staff.
  • Winner of the 2013 BPS Book Award - Practitioner Text category
  • Provides information on the critical skills managers must develop in order to prevent stress in their staff, and the key ongoing behaviours that promote a healthy work environment
  • Shows practitioners in occupational psychology, HR, Health and Safety and related professions how positive management can be integrated into an organization’s existing practices and processes
  • Serves as an essential guide for managers themselves on how to incorporate proven stress management skills into their everyday interactions with team members
  • Balances rigorous research grounding with real-world vignettes, case studies and exercises
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1 Introduction 1

What is Stress? 2

What Stress is Not: Common Misperceptions 3

Common Causes of Stress 4

Work-Related Stress and the Line Manager 5

Summary 9

References 9

2 Why managing stress is important: The business and legal reasons 11

The Business Case 11

The Costs of Work-Related Stress 12

Calculating the Cost of Stress to Your Business 19

What Should We Be Doing to Monitor these Costs? 23

The Legal Case 24

Legal Cases of Work-Related Stress 25

What Should We Be Doing to Comply with Legislation? 28

Summary 29

References 29

3 How to manage work-related stress 31

Prevention 32

Training and Development 35

Support 37

Organizational, Manager and Team, and Individual Level Interventions 38

What Should Our Organization Be Doing? 41

Where Does the Line Manager Fit In? 42

Summary 44

Reference 44

4 Developing a framework to promote positive manager behaviour 45

Rationale: The Need For a Stress Management Approach Focusing on Positive Manager Behaviour 46

Why We Took a Competency-Based Approach 49

The Research Underlying the Positive Manager Behaviour Framework and Approach 51

The Positive Manager Behaviour Framework 55

Evidence to Support a Positive Manager

Behaviour Approach 56

Useful Resources 64

References 65

5 Respectful and responsible: Managing emotions and having integrity (management competency 1) 67

Integrity 68

Managing Emotions 75

Considerate Approach 81

Summary 85

References 87

6 Managing and communicating existing and future work (management competency 2) 89

Proactive Work Management 90

Problem Solving 101

Participative/Empowering 106

Summary 119

References 121

7 Managing the individual within the team (management competency 3) 123

Personally Accessible 124

Sociable 132

Empathetic Engagement 137

Summary 144

References 145

8 Reasoning/managing difficult situations (management competency 4) 147

Managing Conflict 148

Use of Organizational Resources 157

Taking Responsibility for Resolving Issues 164

Summary 168

References 169

9 Overcoming barriers to positive manager behaviour 171

Personal Level Barriers 172

Individual Work or Job Level Barriers 176

Team and Relationship Level Barriers 182

Organizational and Wider Level Barriers 186

Reference 189

10 Supporting managers to change their behaviour 191

Behaviour Change Is Possible 192

Theories of Behaviour Change 193

Implementing Behaviour Change Interventions 195

References 207

11 Is stress management just good management? 209

Comparing Positive Manager Behaviour with General Management/Leadership Competency Frameworks 211

Implications for Practice 214

How to Do Your Own Mapping 215

How to Identify Missing Positive Manager Behaviour Elements 224

How to Integrate Missing Positive Manager Behaviour Elements 225

Valuing People Management Skills 227

References 230

12 The way forward 231

Where are You Now? 231

Starting Out – Understanding Positive Manager Behaviour and How It Might Be Useful 233

Deciding How to Use Positive Manager Behaviour 234

Gaining Buy-In 240

Applying Positive Manager Behaviour 244

Sustainable Impact 250

References 253

Appendix 255

Index 261

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Emma Donaldson-Feilder is a Director of Affinity Health at Work and a Chartered Occupational Psychologist. In addition to her roles as researcher and practitioner, working to improve employee well-being and engagement, she is the author of numerous publications, a regular conference presenter, and a media commentator on issues relating to health at work.

Rachel Lewis is a Director of Affinity Health at Work, a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and a lecturer in Occupational Psychology at Kingston Business School. She combines her academic career with regular conference speaking, consultancy and training, focusing on the links between leadership, management and employee well-being.

Joanna Yarker is a Director of Affinity Health at Work and a Chartered Occupational Psychologist. She has previously held posts at Goldsmiths, University of London and the University of Nottingham. She writes regularly for academic and trade journals, and offers guidance and training to public and private sector organizations focused on improving workplace health.

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"In its way, this is a groundbreaking book since it recognises that, no matter what the policy says, tackling organisational stress has to be implemented by normal, fallible people who happen to be managers - and that they could do with all the help they can get." (RoSPA Occupational Safety & Health Journal, 1 September 2011)

"The three authors – all chartered occupational psychologists – have used their real-life experience and coupled it with a good understanding of research and theory to create an excellent “How to” book for line managers. I would go so far as to say this is almost an essential read for anybody with line-management responsibility and it also has an important educative role for strategic managers who need to understand exactly the psychological culture that will protect and support their organisation." People Management (July 2011)

“This is a really important book because it looks at the role of managers in creating or preventing stress in the workplace.  The UK Government’s Foresight project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing clearly highlights the fact that managerial style is implicated in people’s health and wellbeing at work.  A must-read for those trying to manage stress in organizations.”
Professor Cary L. Cooper, CBE, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health, Lancaster University Management School

"The authors of this book know their stuff and have written a very practical guide. This is much more than just another "how to" book for managers; it draws on the authors' extensive research and provides a solid evidence-based framework for positive management."
Professor Ivan Robertson, Director, Robertson Cooper Ltd

“This is a comprehensive and practical review which is helpful in documenting the key role of line managers in ensuring health-promoting workplaces. The authors’ experience is supported by well-chosen case studies and helps to provide clear advice. Preventing Stress in Organizations clarifies the plethora of research in this complex field and provides pragmatic solutions to the common and costly issue of organizational stress management.”
Dr Steven Boorman, Chief Medical Adviser Royal Mail Group, NHS Workforce Health & Well-being Lead Reviewer

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