Question from Community Care: Workplace stress and how to avoid it

Workplace stress and how to avoid it

By Ray Braithwaite

It would be useful to discuss each of the following separately for 15-20 minutes. Then divide into pairs to examine any solutions (10 minutes). Return to the whole group to discuss the possible solutions and the ways these may be implemented within the team (10 minutes)


* Stress is still perceived as a sign of weakness and staff experiencing it are often not supported effectively. What is the experience within your team?

Discussion points to cover: Individual attitudes towards stress

When does stress become disabling?

The way we look after ourselves

The ‘client always comes first’ attitude and the way this impacts upon staff care

Pairs to answer: What should be done, and by whom, for a colleague who is off work through stress?……..


* The organisation pays lip service to the notion that stress among workers is a real issue. What is being done in your service to substantially reduce stress levels?

Discussion points to cover: Identify the practical organisational supports available to staff and consider whether these are pro-active or reactive responses. Such responses could include counselling; ensuring all time off owed to staff is taken; team building sessions; being valued and the way this is demonstrated.

Pairs to answer:            Identify how your team could improve the responses?


* Role conflict and ambiguity are recognised as major stressors in social care – what do (or can) you and your team do to reduce the possibility of these stressors having an impact on individuals within the team?

Discussion points to cover: Difference between role conflict and ambiguity.

The causes of role conflict are…feelings around “This is not the job I came into x years ago.”

The major changes to our role over the last few years have included…..

Our core tasks previously were…

Our core tasks now are…


Pairs to answer:            Role conflict and ambiguity could be reduced if….

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