Path 3 Created with Sketch.
Banner Default Image

Insight

Back to all insights

MANAGING STRESS IN THE WORKPLACE

Author: Duncan J Carter

Published date: 2018/01

Blank

It is safe to say that nearly all of us have, at some time, experienced stress in the workplace. While it may never be totally eliminated, management’s aim should be to decrease it and manage it overall.

 

I am very grateful to my employer and always want to do a good job for this organisation. I believe most of the employees here and everywhere want to do the same for their employers. But they need to have the right leaders who can lead with good examples, with integrity. Leaders lead, employees follow; and they learn and pick up what their leaders demonstrate.

 

An important relationship in the workplace is between employees and customers. Although it happens less frequently, it plays a significant role in the efficiency of the organisation. If an employee has an unhealthy emotion at work, it will affect the quality of the service seriously. Lots of examples can be listed from our daily life, like customers are ignored by shop assistants, patients are shouted by nurses in the hospital and so on. 

 

To fight stress at work, employees are taking matters into their own hands. Some 58% said they are using company-sponsored training to combat stress, while 54% are turning to meditation or exercise to de-stress.

Because every employee is different, the level at which they engage at work or with their peers will be different, too. Some will come in the door and easily blend into the company culture, while others might seem stand-offish. To ensure no one on your team becomes isolated, managers need to focus on reinforcing the importance of employee contributions to the organisation. Similarly, ensure that all employees are included on important calls or meetings as well as new opportunities and even informal conversations between managers and other departments.

 

On the front end, you need to define the change for the employee in as much detail and as early as you can. Provide updates as things develop and become clearer. In the case of the desk that has to be moved, tell the employee what's going on. "We need to bring in more workers. Our sales have increased by 40%, and we can't meet that demand, even with lots of overtime. To make room for them, we'll have to rearrange things a little." You could even ask the employees how they think the space should be rearranged. You don't have to accept their suggestions, but it's a start toward understanding.

 

You want people to understand what is changing and why. You also need to understand their reluctance.You have to help your people understand. They want to know what the change will be and when it will happen, but they also want to know why. Why is it happening now? Why can't things stay like they have always been? Why is it happening to me? It is also important that they understand what is not changing.

 

Not only does this allows for one less thing to stress about, it also provides an anchor, something to hold on to as they face the winds of uncertainty and change.You need to understand their specific fears. What are they concerned about? How strongly do they feel about it? Do they perceive it as a good or a bad thing? Manage This Issue…Don't try to rationalise things. Don't waste time wishing people were more predictable. Instead, focus on opening and maintaining clear channels of communication with your employees, so they understand what is coming and what it means to them. They will appreciate you for it and will be more productive both before and after the change.

 

When psychologists work with patients to overcome the fear of say, spiders, they do so by taking gradual small steps. First they show them a picture of a spider. Then, they put the person in the room with a spider.

 

Chief executives know in their hearts that smart people, set loose to solve big problems, are responsible for every success and innovation industry has ever seen. Fear-trampled employees don't do a thing for your business. Still, management by fear is a hard habit to break, because fear-whipped underlings don't squawk. Meanwhile, your competitors may be hiring your best talent away and stealing market share while you make it easy for them to do so. Those meek, submissive, broken-down employees might blossom in your rival's trust-based culture. Do you really want to find out?