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OCT Stress Management Resources

As part of our Funding Plus programme, we are pleased to be able to offer OCT grantholders a range of free stress management resources, which have been developed and adapted in partnership with Bruntwood. This is a reflection and extension of our thinking around the need for wellbeing in the VCFSE sector.

These resources will remain available on our website. Hopefully they will help you to consider whether stress is an issue in your organisation and, if so, equip you with some tools to discuss and address it.

What is Stress?

Stress is a normal reaction the body has when changes occur, resulting in physical, emotional and intellectual responses. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert, motivated and ready to avoid danger. But it becomes a problem when stressors continue without relief or periods of relaxation.

A 2021 study by CIPHR found that 49% of British adults admitted to feeling stressed five or more days each month, and 30% cited feeling stressed for 10 or more days a month. Stress has become a near daily feature of our lives and work can have a huge impact upon it.

To help you combat this, we are launching a series of free stress resources to our grantholders: one of these resources is a Stress Self Assessment, designed for all employees in your organisation to use, whilst the other is a Talking Toolkit for managers, to help guide conversations around stress management.

As well as these two resources, we are providing a further opportunity for managers in your organisation to attend a free 1 hour webinar to equip them with useful tools to hopefully allow them to more effectively talk to colleagues about stress.

Resource 1: Stress Self Assessment – for all colleagues in your organisation

When it comes to stress and emotions at work, it can sometimes be hard to recognise or admit that we’re not feeling 100%. By considering factors that can lead to stress at work and rectifying any issues early, high levels of prolonged stress may be avoided.

With that in mind, we’ve released a free Stress Self Assessment, which can be used by anyone to:

  • Help to better understand the components that need to be working well in order to avoid unmanageable stress at work.

  • Identify areas of concern and form a plan to address them.

  • Share results and discuss possible solutions with line managers or other colleagues.

Resource 2: Stress Talking Toolkit – for Managers in your organisation

For managers in your organisation, we are also sharing a Stress Talking Toolkit. This toolkit provides a useful framework to guide a conversation with colleagues after they have completed the Stress Self Assessment, above.

The free Stress Talking Toolkit is available here

This toolkit is designed to help managers hold initial conversations with colleagues, if they ask for a discussion after completing their self assessment. Managers can also choose to initiate the conversation themselves, based on what they already know; regardless of the self assessment process, this toolkit can be used if managers know that a colleague is under high pressure or has indicated or shared that they are stressed.

Managers can use this toolkit to make action plans in their teams, to work towards reducing stress levels. Managers and colleagues will be able to commit to some actions, and it is important to review the measures that are agreed upon, to hold each other to account.

Resource 3: Upcoming Webinars on the Stress Talking Toolkit – for Managers in your organisation

As well as the above, we want to provide information and tools to managers to help them to talk with their colleagues about stress. With that in mind, we will also be providing the opportunity for managers in your organisation to sign up to an upcoming webinar on the Stress Talking Toolkit.

This session gives the opportunity to hear from wellbeing expert, Leanne Mullen, Culture & Engagement Manager at Bruntwood. The webinar provides a unique opportunity to discuss the self assessment and talking toolkits above, as well as a run through of some potential conversation scenarios, so that participants can practise using the toolkit before their teams complete the assessment and possibly request a follow up.

This webinar is for managers who would like help supporting their colleagues with stress, and will explain the talking toolkit further, as well as equip them with tools to allow them to support team members, if needed.

Webinars will be held on two dates in July, over Google Meet. Please complete this Google Form to register your interest for one of these webinar dates. Once registered, we will send the Google Meet invitation for the appropriate session to the email address you provide.