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Managers a leading cause of workplace stress

Younger workers are more likely to feel stressed because of management's behaviour

Nearly seven in 10 (69%) employees say the behaviour of managers in their organisation has increased stress, and that the rising stress is having a major impact on company performance, according to research from Metlife.

The findings show younger workers are more likely to feel the impact of management behaviour on stress, with 75% of 18- to 24-year-olds claiming bosses have contributed to stress in their workplace.

Tom Gaynor, employee benefits director at MetLife UK, described the findings as “very worrying”.

“Complaining about your boss is not unusual but when the behaviour of management is increasing stress in the workplace there is an issue to be addressed beyond trivial moaning,” he said. “It is very worrying that nearly half of all employees say management behaviour has meant people taking time off because of stress in their organisation.”

Almost half (45%) of the respondents say that stress caused by management has led to staff in their organisation taking extended time off.

Despite this, separate research from Printerland.co.uk found that bosses were rated as one of the most-liked colleagues at work, outranked only by admin and reception staff.

However, the same piece of research also found more than a third (36%) of employees feel uncomfortable asking for time off when they are ill.

Jill Miller, research adviser at the CIPD, suggested that bosses need to set the tone when it comes to taking time off to relax and recover.

"The spreading of germs and employees working to a poorer standard is not good for business or the individual's health,” she said. "Our research has shown that the main reason employees don't take time off is because their workload is too high and they don't want colleagues to pick up their work.

"Managers should lead by example by taking their holiday and staying at home when they are sick, which creates a more supportive culture.”