Line Management Behaviour: Updated guidance and development tools from CIPD/the HSE

We’ve provided elsewhere on this site details of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Management Standards approach to promoting wellbeing, and preventing and dealing with stress, and what the organisation and manager can and must do to support staff, including undertaking a stress risk assessment. The Management Standards approach is an example of good management practice, and a number of organisations have signed up to them, which means they’ve agreed to embed them within the organisation/organisational culture. (This is a cultural issue, as it reflects how we treat our staff, how we behave towards them, and what they can expect from us as an organisation).
But what are the behaviours required of our managers to facilitate this approach, and how will they know how to create and foster an environment that promotes wellbeing and minimises the chances of work-related stress taking hold? Supported by the CIPD, the HSE and Investors in People, a team of occupational psychologists conducted research into the behaviours required, and produced a framework of management competencies and sub-competencies, supported by examples of manager behaviour that are indicative of and reflective of these competencies, as follows:


Respectful and responsible: managing emotions and having integrity
(sub-competencies: integrity; managing emotions; considerate approach)
Managing and communicating existing and future work
(sub-competencies: proactive work management; problem-solving; participative/empowering)
Reasoning/managing difficult situations
(sub-competencies: managing conflict; use of organisation resources; taking responsibility for resolving issues)
Managing the individual within the team
(sub-competencies: personally accessible; sociable; empathetic engagement)

These are therefore the set of skills and behaviours we need to acquire and exhibit as managers in order to support staff and promote a healthy working environment in which wellbeing is encouraged, stress is less likely to occur, and staff are more likely to give of their best. To download a copy of the updated guidance, including examples of manager behaviour, click here.


As a way of assessing how good a stress manager you are, why not complete the HSE stress management competency indicator tool? The aim of the questionnaire is to help you to reflect upon your own behaviour and management style. It looks in turn at the four behavioural areas mentioned above, and provides tips and ideas on how you can use your assessment to improve your effectiveness through your management behaviour. You can either download a print-off copy here, or complete the form electronically here.

Please get in touch with us at Stress Management Plus on 0118 3283246 or via email if you'd like to discuss any of the above at all.

We're helping organisations (see our client list) to save money every day, just in reducing sick absence costs and the costs of under-performance.

Get in touch now to start doing the same for your organisation today. Here are some example case studies demonstrating the benefits of investing in wellbeing.

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