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Stress Indicator Tool

Stress Indicator Tool

The SIT is an online survey tool that teams can use to help identify workplace stressors and plan improvements. The survey is based on six Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Stress Management Standards which are evidence-based standards for workplaces to meet to reduce stress in the workplace. 

SIT Request Form

Complete this short form to apply to use the Stress Indicator Tool with your team: request form

The SIT is available for all teams who have at least 10 members. Priority will be given to teams who are showing signs of stress/ poor wellbeing. If you want to do something for fewer than 10 people you should use a Workplace Pressures Risk Assessment. 

After completing 35-question survey, team managers receive a report from HSE with a summary of how their team has performed for each HSE Stress Management Standard and suggestions for how to reduce stress.  This report can form the basis of discussions with team members about how to make improvements. More information can be found hereStress Indicator Tool (SIT) (

You can view a case study of how the Organisational Development team used SIT here: SIT OD Team Case Study

The responses to the survey are anonymous, so individuals cannot be identified and responses will not be linked to individualsThe SIT does not collect any personal data so although the administrator supporting the production of surveys and final reports can see raw data, this does not include I.P. address information or IT identifiers. 

A minimum of 10 responses to the survey are required and responses to any demographic question with fewer than 10 responses will be grouped together, so no individuals or small groups can be identified. Anonymous survey data is stored in a UK-based high-security facility for a minimum of 10 years. It may be used for research purposes by the HSE and the University of Hull with whom the HSE works to provide this tool.   

The survey takes around 15-20 minutes to compete. This depends somewhat on whether the team member wishes to write lots of free-text comments.

The time that it takes to complete the SIT process will vary, but we expect it to take around 4-6 weeks from requesting to take part, to having a follow-up session with the team to discuss possible remedial actions. For larger teams or in cases where there are more challenging issues to resolve, this will be the start of an ongoing process. Tracking progress of changes agreed with the team members, and reporting back to them on progress, should be an ongoing task for all team managers. Good practice would be to revisit the exercise periodically for new issues.

The Colleague Wellbeing team will provide a step-by-step guide to the full process.

Quotes from team managers and leaders who've used the tool

My experience using the tool: following the whole University Colleague wellbeing survey a Professional Services Team wanted to find out in more detail where the ‘stressors’ were so they could talk about and develop solutions together.  I went to the HSE online tool and launched the survey across the team of 22.  This process offered two key themes of concern around ‘Demands’ and ‘Change’, it was also positive to see very good scores in other areas in particular leadership and colleague ‘Support’.  Following this a three-hour virtual ‘away half day’ was developed (by the team themselves) with a focus on positive mental health, including an exercise to find solutions to the ‘Demands’ and ‘Change’ problem.  What flowed from this was a clear ask on the part of colleagues for greater involvement in how we commit to and develop solutions to large projects and new pieces of work.  All team leaders were asked to think more about how we can involve colleagues to ensure that additional tasks are seen as part of a process of prioritisation.

Head of Organisational Development

This tool gave me a good oversight of our department and allowed us to develop an action plan to reduce work-based stress and create a better working environment.

Prof. Karen Knapp, HoD - Health and Care Professions, Associate Professor in Musculoskeletal Imaging.

It was really helpful in understanding where we could make a demonstrable difference to staff wellbeing in the team.

A PS Head of Service

Thank you so much for your help with this. It has been so beneficial to us in understanding the teams a bit better and replacing wellbeing priorities.

HR Partner working closely with faculty departments

The SIT is a great resource to use within the team. The report and data provided is very comprehensive and provides a great starting point for discussion and implementing actions.

HR Senior Partner using SIT within their own team

It's been a useful way to highlight issues and get everyone involved with coming up with solutions.

Manager of a large PS team

If you would like to contact us regarding this page or the training please email