Stress – do something about it

Stress is a big thing: It is a personal tragedy for the individual concerned and it cost a lot for the organizations as well as the society. Companies – and HR – must therefore be more proactive when it comes to combating workplace stress.

If you ask people in Denmark if they feel stressed 41% will say that they feel stressed “often” or “occasionally”. That is a big number. When you add that to the fact that 25% of all sick leave is directly linked to stress-related illnesses then this is serious. The other interesting thing about that number is that it is rising. In 1987 the number of Danes reporting stress was 35%.

A good stress policy should include a number of things. It should include a clear definition of what stress is, list a comprehensive range of symptoms which comes from stress (remember that stress is a condition – not an illness), provide stress management tools, outline roles and responsibilities of managers, colleagues, the employee and the company and most importantly provide exact steps which a person should take if he or she feels symptoms of stress.

A well-written policy is however only useful if it is actually taken seriously by the company, managers and the employees themselves. Otherwise it is just another useless HR-policy. There must be an openness to deal with stress at the workplace and a language to speak freely about problems and issues with managers and HR. This bit requires a real concentrated effort from top management and all the way down. I have seen it work, and where it does, it makes a big difference to job-satisfaction, employee turnover and productivity.

Stress is important. My advice is to treat it seriously.

2 thoughts on “Stress – do something about it

  1. Hi Morten

    Just came across your site – Google Alert on Human Capital – which is a rarefied selection, so well done – would love to share ideas with you. I’ve subscribed to your blog by email.

    I work for Dr Michael Reddy, who runs a human capital consultancy in the UK called Human Potential Accounting (, as well as a new dedicated human capital network and library (free) called HubCap – it’s in Alpha, but growing fast – I’d love to see your ideas put up here, as well as connect on LinkedIN etc. We are trying to not just collect the latest thought on HC together, but also connect those people shaping it’s future, doing so both in ebooks and on the network, but were also currently trying to change UK law in the reporting of HC by business.

    I won’t go on, as you’ll see that there are either a lot of things we could talk about, or you’re far too busy! In which case, I’ll keep coming back here and commenting where I feel I can add value, and look forward to hearing from you.


    1. Hi Stuart,
      Thanks a lot for your comment. I would love to chat – I have been to your site and it looks great and really interesting. Will write you an email with my telephone number and potential times to speak.
      Look forward to speaking with you.

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