The background to StressFactor™ Analysis Tool

Born of necessity

In 2016 Paul Finch, CEO & Founder had completed a company turnaround and exited a technology business securing value for all shareholders, but it had been a hard journey. This coincided with the rise in the media surrounding the conversation on mental wellbeing.

On the back of his own personal business journey as senior leader, Paul commissioned an independent psychologist in Jan 2017 to help resolve the challenge:

Is it possible to create a psychometric tool to surface all the hidden sources of stress within an organisation to create a digital heatmap allowing senior leaders to implement targeted support
people-paul

Paul Finch

Paul is a co-founder and CEO of APeopleBusiness. It is his vision that is the driving force behind the core product of StressFactor™.
approach-chart

Developed with Psychologists

Paul has spent 3+ years creating and automating the product working with a number of psychologists, refining the research and running pilot projects across a number of organisations.

The tool has evolved and incorporates some key thinking drawn from many different sources of knowledge and expertise including the UK Health & Safety Exec.

StressFactor™ Validation

StressFactor is made of two core components:

> DiSC Personality Profiling Psychometric Tool
> Stress and Mental Health Questions

What is DiSC ?

DiSC was founded by William Moulton Marston, an American psychologist who invented an early prototype of the lie detector, a self-help author and comic book writer who created the character Wonder Woman.

Marston’s Emotions of Normal People, published in 1928 presented his findings on the concepts of will and a person’s sense of power and their effect on personality and human behaviour.

DiSC came, by design, from Marston’s search for measurements of the energy of behaviour and consciousness.

Although, Marston did not develop an assessment or test from his model, as others later did. He did, interestingly, apply his model and theory in the real world when he consulted with Universal Studios in 1930 to help them transition from melodramatic silent pictures to movies with audio and the need for more natural gestures and facial expression by actors.

DISC is still one of the most widely used psychometric personality profiling tools in the world.

Carl Gustav Jung originated attributed personality to internal influences, Jung determined that our behaviour is based on the way we think and process. He contributed much to the understanding of “type” behaviours, believing that individuals had a “Psychological Type” and that people vary by how they perceive things and make decisions.

In 1921, Jung published the book, Psychological Types, identifying 4 ways in which we experience the world: Sensation, Intuition, Feeling, and Thinking. He is credited with the creation of the word ‘introvert’ and, subsequently ‘extrovert’ which are key elements in the two-axis matrix which supports the DISC tool.

DiSC has been reviewed in various forms by the BPS (British Psychological Society) and has a number of validation papers to its name and various other renamed identical tools.

StressFactor Questions

The survey questions have been drawn from the experience of three organisational psychologists as a direct result of their industry experience and practice over many years. These three make up the APeopleBusiness Psychology Advisory Board. 

Integrated Question Sources:

Workplace Stress Assessment:

StressFactor probes 10 PRIMARY sources of work related stress and TWO additional ones as recommended by the UK Health & Safety Exec.

Home / Domestic Stressors

StressFactor probes 5 sources of domestic stress …

PHQ-9: Medical depression diagnosis questionnaire

  • StressFactor covers all the questions raised within the symptoms section
  • A scoring assessment has been implemented to indicate: Within Normal Levels, Mild Depression (showing signs of strain) & Severe Depression (severely depressed).

Client feedback from pilot projects

  • The feedback from a number of early client projects in resulted in a few minor changes, but the integrity of the questions has held.
  • The feedback we have received regarding the profiling reports has proved the accuracy of the automated reporting.
  • The post project workshops held do demonstrate that the information surfaced is indicative of the management issues that need to be resolved.

PHQ-9: Medical depression diagnosis questionnaire

  • StressFactor covers all the questions raised within the symptoms section.
  • A scoring assessment has been implemented to indicate: Within Normal Levels, Mild Anxiety (showing signs of strain) & Severe Anxiety (highly anxious).

HSE Stress Survey

  • StressFactor covers all areas of the questions raised by the HSE survey, however APB unpacks some of those questions into several different headings where appropriate.
  • A scoring assessment has been implemented to indicate: Within Normal Levels, Mild Anxiety (showing signs of strain) & Severe Anxiety (highly anxious).

Emotional / Psychological / Behavioural Symptoms

  • A qualified Psychologist at PHD level has set the questions to help assess the actual presence of stress by assessing Emotional, Psychological & Behavioural symptoms. Behavioural symptoms are ignored as these can be attributed to a number of different causes including physical injury, therefore are an unreliable indicator.
  • A scoring assessment has been implemented to indicate: Within Normal Levels, Mild Stress (showing signs of strain) & Severe Stress.

StressFactor™ has recently been reviewed against the ISO 45001 and PAS 3002 standards.

 

The conclusion is that StressFactor™ will support an organisation with the evidence base to achieve these standards.