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Managing Stress at Work

Proactive Stress Management: Stress Management Competency Indicator Tool

(Commissioned by the HSE with support from the CIPD and Investors in People).

The ‘Stress management competency indicator tool’ is designed to allow you to assess whether the behaviours identified as effective for preventing and reducing stress at work are part of your management repertoire or not.  The aim is to help you to reflect upon your own behaviour and management style.

The tool is available on the HSE website:


The tool begins by looking in turn at four behavioural areas identified as being important for managers to prevent and reduce stress in their staff:

  • Respectful and Responsible: Managing Emotions and Having Integrity
  • Managing and Communicating Existing and Future Work
  • Managing the Individual within the Team
  • Reasoning/Managing Difficult Situations

You are asked to consider a range of specific manager behaviours and put a tick in the column that most closely represents your level of agreement with each statement.  You can then use the instructions at the end of each table to calculate your score on the behavioural area covered by that table.  (NB the term ‘team members’ is used to refer to people who report directly to you/who you manage.)

The overall assessment process allows you to use the scores from the questionnaire to assess your effectiveness in preventing and reducing stress in your staff.  It allows you to identify whether any of the areas are Development Needs for you, or whether you are Reasonable or Effective in each area.

The tool includes tips and ideas on how you can use your assessment to improve your effectiveness in preventing and reducing stress at work, through your management behaviour.  Finally there is a summary of the competencies required to prevent and reduce stress at work.

This tool is explained in detail in our ‘Stress Management Training for Managers’ 1-day in-house training course

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