Corporate leaders to be shown how to reduce stress at work

From: Policy Publications
Published: Fri Feb 29 2008

Stress at work can be reduced even when difficult jobs have to be done in limited time according to Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas. Speaking at a Thought Leaders Event in Birmingham he will show how the jobs of front line staff can be made less stressful

Coulson-Thomas explains, "People dealing directly with customers and citizens are often required to quickly understand complex situations and develop a bespoke response. The penalties for failure may be high, particularly where they are operating in a regulated sector and under pressure to increase their performance".

Some are at breaking point. Coulson-Thomas finds: "Far too often performance improvement is a question of speeding up the treadmills people feel they are on and requiring them to do more with less. Many corporate responses are limited to addressing symptoms rather than the root causes of stress such as the difficulty of doing many jobs against tight timescales."

Coulson-Thomas believes: "Many directors and boards may be leaving themselves open to future claims for compensation by not adopting known ways of making it much easier for people to understand complex issues and do difficult jobs. Pioneering companies use a new generation of support tools to help staff handle such situations"

The Professor favours cost effective ways of making front line jobs less stressful: "Building controls and enablers into the processes and support tools used by key workgroups can allow their users to quickly design a bespoke solution for a particular customer without breaching a quality, regulatory or cost requirement."

Coulson-Thomas suggests: "Boards should ensure people with difficult jobs are given appropriate support. Directors wishing to increase personal fulfilment at work should explore how support tools that increase understanding of complex issues, boost productivity and make it easy for people to do difficult jobs can also reduce stress."

Examples of how job support tools can be used to make it very easy for average performers to adopt winning ways are given in Prof. Coulson-Thomas’ book ‘Winning Companies; Winning People’ (Policy Publications, 2007) which can be ordered from:

The Thought Leaders Event at which Prof. Coulson-Thomas is speaking has been organised by Investors in People UK for chief executives and human resources directors. It is being held on 4th March at the Hyatt Regency, Birmingham, and its purpose is to encourage leaders in organisations to consider the role they can take in reducing people’s stress in the workplace.

Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas, an active consultant and experienced chairman of award winning companies, is the author of ‘Winning Companies: Winning People’ (Policy Publications, 2007). He has reviewed the processes and practices of over 100 companies, helped over 100 boards to improve board and/or corporate performance, and spoken at over 200 national, international and corporate conferences in 35 countries. He can be contacted by Tel: +44 (0) 1733 361 149; Fax: +44 (0) 1733 361 459; email: or via
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