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By Ann McCracken

Work-related or personal stress has the potential to negatively affect an individual’s psychological and physical health, as well as an organisation’s effectiveness. Increased absence, presenteeism and reduced productivity are the hallmarks related to organisations who have not got a handle on the concept of the causes of psychosocial risk in the workplace.

A recent European (EU-OSHA 2014) revealed that 51 % of workers find work-related stress to be common in their workplace and 4 in 10 workers think that stress is not handled well in their organisation. In 2011 the PAS 1010 was launched by the BSI, clearly defining the route for organisations to follow – starting with training the Senior Management in how to drive the management of psychosocial work related risk.

As a Stress Reduction consultant and trainer I am not aware that this initiative has engendered any momentum within the business community. It is primarily target at the Senior Management who are undoubtedly the key to reducing psychosocial risk and the corollary of that, which is increased productivity and colleagues who want to be in work.

Understanding what is stress is and what it is not, as well as having a clear pathway to measure stress and the effect of initiatives is essential ,to provide an evidence based approach to healthy staff who can learn to become resilient, innovative, supportive and consistent.

Many aspects of this topic will be presented and discussed at the forthcoming Symposium Events Summit which I have the honour of Chairing – see you there!


Ann McCracken is a Director of AMC2 and the vice president of the International Management Association (ISMA UK) – the professional body for stress management Practitioners.

She specialises in developing a positive and resilient working culture in organisations by introducing effective strategies in performance and wellbeing at all levels. The effectiveness of such a positive working culture is measured and assessed using AMC2 Corporate Diagnostic innovative surveys which include measurement of psychosocial factors, stress and wellbeing. Having initially trained as a scientist, she carried out research with DEFRA and consultancy in the NHS.

She spent 10 years in Education before retraining as a stress management practitioner in 1996. She is the author of Stress Gremlins©, regularly writes/broadcasts and is an external lecturer at Westminster University. She is also a Key Note/Motivational speaker/Conference Chair.

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