Stress: Prevention is better than cure

It is more effective for employers to try and prevent stress in the workplace than it is for them to attempt to cure it, an expert has claimed. Kevin Friery, Clinical Director at Right Corecare, was speaking after recent research from the London School of Economics and Political Science suggested bosses' performance appraisals should take into account their ability to help employees gain a good work-life balance.

Mr Friery explained prevention is preferable to combating the condition because, even after a person has successfully approached the situation, the anxiety could always return when the next problem arises.

He stated: "What you need to do is develop skills in people to help them cope – and they are life skills."

The LSE study, carried out by Alexandra Beauregard from the organisation's department of management, suggested options such as flexible working hours could help employees better balance their job with their family commitments.

Stuart Duff, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "We would agree with the findings and recommendations, but emphasise the importance of developing personal strategies for managing pressure and developing resilience. 

"Through our work in developing managers, we know that the manager themselves can become a significant factor in increasing stress in their direct reports, rather than alleviating it, if they do not have the experience and knowledge required to recognise the symptoms. 

"Many organisations are now starting to look at how individuals and teams can manage pressure most effectively and recognise stressful incidents in advance, which is a big step forward."