Stress Assessment and Management

Users’ guide

Welcome to BT STREAM. This information is provided to guide BT people through the STREAM stress self assessment process.  It is important that you take a few moments to read these instructions, so that you understand how STREAM can help you and what we are aiming to achieve.


What is stress and why are we ‘managing’ it?


STREAM objectives

Management of the information

Completing the assessment

Useful contacts


For information – further background to the STREAM project


What is stress and why are we ‘managing’ it?


Stress is defined as “excessive or intolerable pressure leading to physical or psychological effects on the human body”.  It is of increasing concern in modern life and is an area we must deal with as a business and a responsible employer.  

STREAM is designed to help you and your line manager to decide if you are under stress and, if you are, what to do about it.

Pressure can generally be regarded as a useful or even beneficial aspect of life.  Put under pressure, people can perform better and more efficiently.  However, when a person perceives that they are being overloaded, pressure can become stress and there is no benefit.  No level of stress is good and the performance of anyone who is stressed is likely to decline.  The chart below summarises the difference between pressure and stress, and shows how one can lead to the other.


Pressure – performance curve




We want to help where we can with any of your sources of stress.  Completing this assessment will help us to provide the assistance you need.



STREAM is intended to help BT people maintain their well being by identifying sources of stress. It is designed to help both you and your manager work through and resolve any issues.


It is important that you feel comfortable discussing these issues with your line manager.  If you feel unable to do so, you have the right to discuss them directly with your second line manager so when we refer to ‘selected line manager’ in this guidance, this could mean your first or second line manager, whichever one you select.


You may also want to talk to a counsellor.  If so, please contact the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) on 0800 9176767 (a confidential, 24 hour service for BT people).


STREAM objectives

STREAM will provide an assessment of your personal stress level and highlight areas where you may be under stress.  


The objective is to help you and your selected line manager identify why you are being stressed, and to agree on what you and BT will do to manage and reduce your stress levels.


Management of the information

The information you provide will be used to compile the report for you and your line manager. Your actual answers will never be seen by your selected line manager or anyone else.  Instead the report he/she receives will provide an overall stress risk rating and guidance for managing stress.


We have designed the process so that your name and EIN will be removed from the database as soon as your selected line manager confirms action has been taken following receipt of the report.  In this way we can guarantee your answers will remain confidential between you and your line manager.


You should be aware that BT will also use anonymised results from all assessments to measure and manage the levels of stress throughout the organisation.  


Completing the assessment

Your line manager may brief you on the process and why this is being offered to you. This may follow a Return to Work interview if you have been absent from work.

If you agree to go ahead, you will be asked to complete the STREAM questionnaire in a quiet and private environment. Using your answers to a series of multiple choice questions, STREAM will assess your level of stress and highlight areas that may be causing that stress.

At the beginning of the assessment you will be asked to select your first or second line manager as your selected line manager.  

The line manager’s report, which is produced following your assessment, will go only to your selected  line manager.

When it’s finished, you will receive via email (or on screen if you don’t have email) your personalised stress rating and a brief report. The stress rating (green, amber or red) indicates your personal stress level.

Your selected  line manager will also receive a report, showing your stress rating and providing guidance on the areas which may need to be addressed.  

Your actual answers will always remain confidential.  

You and your selected line manager may need to arrange a 1:1 meeting to discuss your STREAM report so that an action plan can be developed and agreed.  

You could agree to complete the STREAM assessment again by an agreed date, to identify improvements made, together with any continuing actions required.


Useful contacts


Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) –

0800 917 6767 or +441865 397076 for outside the UK (For UK and Asia Pacific based BT employees only)



Employee Assistance Management –

0800 780784 or +44 1908 358890 for outside the UK (For UK and Asia Pacific based BT Managers only)



Occupational Health Service –

0800 800992



Safety Services 

The Health and Safety Helpdesk can be reached by telephone on 0800 780783. People outside of the UK should dial +44 1908 356538


Fairness in Relationships –

including equality and diversity, bullying and harassment, violence, work-life balance



Achieving the Balance  –

advice on achieving the work/life balance suitable for you


Equal Opportunities


Mental Well Being


Managing Pressure


CWU Helpline


Connect Helpline:

020 8971 6060


NHS Direct site on stress



For more detailed information and training on managing pressure, enter the Route to Learn site ( and select one of the following stress-related training packages:

43110 Self-Development: Balancing Your Personal and Professional Life

E43006 Stress Management: Fundamentals for Employees

HMM0117 Managing Workplace Stress

SKPD8114 Coping With Stress

SKPD0182 Success Over Stress

NI-PERSCOMMSTUPO-OPEN Managing Stress to Thrive Under Pressure



For information – further background to the STREAM project

BT has developed the STREAM project from scratch, as part of the company’s three tier approach to managing pressure in the workplace.  These three tiers are discussed in detail on the Managing Pressure  website, but in summary they are;

Primary tier – minimising workplace stress through effective job and workplace design

Secondary tier – identifying organisational hotspots for stress and providing individuals with personalised assessment and advice

Tertiary tier – providing remedial support to those suffering from stress and helping them back into the workplace


STREAM has been developed with the consultancy services of a leading psychiatrist from Kings College London.  The programme comprises two elements

A set of questions focused on identifying stressors within the BT environment;  these are specific to the company

A set of questions designed to assess an individual’s current level of stress; called the GCHQ 12 questions, these are a established method to assess stress

The development of STREAM coincided with the publication of the Health & Safety Executive’s  Management Standards on Workplace Stress.  The decision was made to shape the STREAM questions within the HSE’s categories, as detailed in the Management Standards.  These categories are;







You will see in any red or amber rated reports, that STREAM uses these categories to highlight possible sources of stress for the individual.  


HSE have endorsed the STREAM question set as an appropriate means for identifying stress within these six categories.

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