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Preventing Workplace Stress

Date: 5 May 2015

Here’s Prof Mowbray’s checklist of the steps needed to create and sustain a psychologically healthy, positive working environment and prevent work-related stress:

  • Define the role leaders and managers have in the prevention of stress;
  • Clarify the behaviours that prevent stress at work;
  • Get the Board and top team on board;
  • Create an appropriate strategy for change;
  • Introduce psychological responsibility for self and others;
  • Share responsibility for the future success of the organisation throughout the organisation;
  • Create a culture of wellbeing and performance;
  • Encourage adaptive leadership;
  • Make the working environment one that encourages and supports optimum performance;
  • Build resilience within the workforce.

The focus is on leaders and managers. It is they who have the capability and capacity to make the organisational and environmental changes necessary to achieve a stress free environment in which the workforce can flourish.


The creation of such an environment will have a profound impact on achieving optimum performance.



Establishing and using effective channels of communication that engage employees are a key component in promoting employee health.  Examples: Health Notice Boards, Team Briefings, Internet/Intranet, Email, Wage Packet Inserts, Staff Surveys. 

Working Days Lost

According to HSE, 36 million days were lost in 2008 as a result of work-related ill health or workplace injury. The worst performing organisations lost an average of 12 working days per employee [CBI/AXA].

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