Discuss The Issues With Your Employee
Identifying causes of stress can usually be achieved through discussion with the individual.
It is a good idea to have an informal meeting away from your usual work place to put the individual at ease, prevent interruptions and ensure privacy.
Try to encourage open, honest communication to establish the extent to which the individual is feeling stressed and the possible cause in a supportive context. Make sure you allow adequate time to talk as it can be unhelpful and off-putting to prematurely cut off a productive conversation.
Ask open questions and give the individual the time and opportunity to explain what they are experiencing. If the situation is complex or unclear you may find it useful to use an Individual Stressor Questionnaire .
Avoid comparing their issues and circumstances to yourself or others. There is little to be gained by explaining that ‘everyone else is managing’ or that you are also feeling stressed. Stay focussed on the member of staff and what they are experiencing.
Once the extent and causes of stress have been established, be careful not to over-promise on what you can deliver – manage the individual’s expectations to ensure that they are realistic about what can be done, and what timescales might apply.
What Causes Job Stress
Most of the time, it’s the major sources of stress that lead to job burnout and health problems. Job stress can affect your home life too. Here are some common sources of major job stress, with examples of each:
- Lack of control. Feeling as if you have no control over your work or job duties is the biggest cause of job stress. People who feel like they have no control at work are most likely to get stress-related illnesses. Here’s an example:
- Shelly is responsible for putting together a report that her boss must deliver at a 4 p.m. meeting. She’s been waiting all day for the notes and numbers she needs. Shelly finally gets the notes from her boss at 3:15 and rushes to prepare the report and charts and to make copies in time. She gets it done, but she feels mad and resentful. This is the third time this week that this has happened.
Who Else Can Help With Work Stress
The HSE supports anyone who is responsible for tackling work-related stress in an organisation.
That might be the person who has responsibility for human resources, a health and safety officer, trade union representatives or line managers.
The HSE believes good management practices can help reduce work-related stress. It offers a management standards approach to help employers take sensible and practical steps to minimise stress in the workplace.
Your GP can also help. Doctors aren’t experts in employment law, but they can help you analyse the situation and refer you to more specialised help if necessary.
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Rely On A Strong Support Network
Keep in touch with trusted friends and family members to help cope with stressful work situations.
If youre struggling with an especially challenging work week, try asking parent friends if they can help out with carpooling your kids to school on certain days.
Having people you can rely on during the tough times can alleviate some of the built-up tension.
Calming Things To Do When Stressed
Stress is an inevitable part of life for some people.
Even the most zen among us will be pushing to the breaking point at one time or another, searching for things to do when stressed over bills, work, school, or the little things that take up space in your brain even though theyre not that important .
Sometimes, when were stressed, we end up being pretty bad humans and snapping at people we love , losing control of our emotions, and generally not contributing to the human race in a positive way.
This can also happen when when trying hard to stay positive in a bad situation.
When youre not able to change your situation, ie move from a big city to an island in the middle of nowhere, you have to find calming things to do when youre stressed to keep putting one foot in front of the other and not turning into a stress monster.
Enjoy this full list of things to do when youre stressed, and remember that you make time in life for whats important to you.
This self-love workbook is a fantastic way of relaxing and boosting those happy hormones to get you through the stress.
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Employees Need To Understand How Their Roles Contribute To Company Success
When employees understand how their role fits with company goals, they will be more likely to engage and contribute. They will also develop a sense of control over their work duties, which can help manage stress levels.
Do This: Make sure that employees know the company goals and have a chance to identify ways they contribute. Small group meetings are a good way to help employees connect company goals to individual roles.
Leaders can reinforce the importance of employee roles when they praise employees. Recognition results in increased security and productivity, and can decrease stress.
How To Reduce Stress At Work For Employers
Having understood the causes and consecuences, How can employers reduce stress at workplace? You can take some actions, starting with assuming positive leadership and staying calm in stressful situations.
It is important that you consult your employees about what factors can be stressful at work, and that you talk to them to reduce the uncertainty of their futures. Listening to them and having face-to-face meetings will make them feel heard and valued. Give them the opportunity to participate in the decisions that affect their work, make them feel involved.
You must deal with conflict by respecting the dignity of each employee and establishing zero tolerance for harassment and violence. Avoid unrealistic deadlines and make sure the tasks are right for each employee based on their abilities and resources. Make your expectations clear, define roles, responsibilities, and goals for each other. Above all, make sure that managements actions are aligned with the values that you proclaim.
Offering awards and incentives, recognizing achievements and planning potentially stressful work periods are also actions that help reduce stress, as well as promote social interaction between employees.
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What Do We Mean By ‘workplace Stress’
Workplace stress can occur when there is a mismatch between the requirements of the role, your capabilities and resources and supports available.
Everyone knows what stress feels like and we’ve probably all experienced it at some stage at home, school or work, or while getting outside our comfort zone, but while this stress is normal, if it is ongoing, it can become a problem.
There are common stressors in most roles but also specific stressors for certain roles.
Find out more about specific stressors for these specific roles:
Take An Objective Approach
When you’re faced with a stressful situation, take a step back before reacting. Since your perspective of these events can add to your stress level. Therefore, it’s important to look at each situation objectively without placing blame or having self-doubt. When you remove yourself from a situation, it can help you find a solution and help you respond in a professional manner. Doing this helps eliminate any stress you may have incurred otherwise.
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Managing Common Stressful Situations At Work
If you feel stressed by a certain problem at work, you might not be alone in this.
Anyone can experience some of these common stressful situations in the workplace. The important thing is understanding how to manage them.
Problems with your workload
- Ask your manager for help. Discuss your workload with your manager. Try setting realistic targets and talk about how you can solve the issues you’re having.
- Try to balance your time. You might be doing too much at once. If you don’t give each task your full attention, it can take longer. Try to claim your time back if you ever need to work extra hours to get something done.
- Reward yourself for achievements. Rather than only focusing on work that needs to be done next, reward yourself for tasks youâve completed. Your reward could be taking a break to read, do a puzzle, chat with co-workers or spend time outside.
- Be realistic. You don’t have to be perfect all the time. You might find that you’re being more critical of your own work than you need to be. Work within your limitations and try to be kind to yourself.
“I don’t take on too much at one time, little steps are the way. Breathing strategies, having a mindset and thinking, ‘I can do this!'”
Difficult work-life balance
Lack of support in your workplace
“My work has become a strong support system. My work colleagues have become like family and there is a mutual respect in how we treat one another.”
Ways To Reduce Workplace Stress
Stressed out employees are bad for profits and morale. Heres how to help your team perform at their very best.
Have you ever had a day at work when your mind was somewhere else and you couldnt focus? It might have had something to do with stress, or maybe even stress at work itself.
According to the Harvard Gazette, 36% of U.S. workers suffer from workplace stress and it costs U.S. businesses $30 billion a year in lost workdays.
Stress is a normal part of work and life, but too much of it can have dire effects on team morale and productivity. As a business leader, how can you de-stress your employees lives so they perform at their very best? We have a few ideas.
Psst…we have an entire toolkit around employee happiness complete with team bonding ideas and an employee happiness survey. You .
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Eat At Your Favorite Restaurant
If you dont like or want to cook, your favorite restaurant is always there for you!
Pick a time to go and eat, either with just a friend or with your whole family.
You dont need a reason to go out and get your favorite meal or to hold a celebration.
Get together just to get together and show support to your favorite chains or local restaurants, and make sure to order exactly what you want with no thought of calories or diets.
This is your destress meal.
Then savor it.
Can Workplace Stress Be Defined
We hear a lot about stress, but what is it? As stated by the Canadian Mental Health Association:
âStress is a reaction to a situation â it isn’t about the actual situation. We usually feel stressed when we think that the demands of the situation are greater than our resources to deal with that situation. For example, someone who feels comfortable speaking in public may not worry about giving a presentation, while someone who isn’t confident in their skills may feel a lot of stress about an upcoming presentation. Common sources of stress may include major life events, like moving or changing jobs. Long-term worries, like a long-term illness or parenting, can also feel stressful. Even daily hassles like dealing with traffic can be a source of stress.â
From: âStressâ, Canadian Mental Health Association, 2018
Workplace stress then is the harmful physical and emotional responses that can happen when there is a conflict between job demands on the employee and the amount of control an employee has over meeting these demands. In general, the combination of high demands in a job and a low amount of control over the situation can lead to stress.
Stress in the workplace can have many origins or come from one single event. It can impact on both employees and employers alike. It is generally believed that some stress is okay but when stress occurs in amounts that you cannot handle, both mental and physical changes may occur.
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Make Wellness A Part Of The Workplace
Since stress can create physical illness, doing what you can to keep your employees healthy can combat stress. There are several ways employers can encourage wellness:
- Gym memberships. You can give gym memberships to employees.
- Wearable technology. Give devices like the FitBit or JawBone Up, which measure steps, heart rate, and activity. Have competitions in which employees compete to be the most active to win prizes.
- Provide healthy snacks. Make healthy snacks available in the breakroom instead of junk food and sugary soda.
- Free checkups. Partner with a local clinic to offer free tests for employees, such as blood sugar, cholesterol, or blood pressure.
- Encourage breaks. Make sure your employees take their breaks and take the time off coming to them.
Healthy and rested employees are less stressed and do better work. Itâs that simple.
There Should Be A Spirit Of Cooperation And Respect At Work
A hostile work environment contributes to stress and poor health. A spirit of cooperation and support are essential for the well-being of your employees and the progress of your organization.
Do This: Be an example of what you want to see in employees. Respect them and they will be more respectful of each other. You set the tone. If employees feel that they have the support of others, they will be much more likely to follow suit.
Feeling respected and respecting others creates unity in the workplace and builds relationships of trust. Trust is the basis of a positive work environment and it can be a valuable buffer against the negative effects of stress.
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What Causes Work Stress
The main reasons given for work stress include work pressure, lack of support from managers and work-related violence and bullying.
Stress management advice
The way you deal with stress can lead to unhealthy behaviours, such as smoking and drinking too much, which might increase your risk of heart disease.
How Employees Can Deal With Stress At Work
Some symptoms that will tell if you are going through anxiety at workplace are physical and include pains, head and stomach aches, fatigue, eating and sleeping disorders. Other signs are cognitive and include for example, a difficulty to concentrate or make decisions, think or remember things. Finally, you may suffer from emotional symptoms such as feeling sad, tense or angry.
If you have detected some of the mentioned signs you may be suffering from work stress. Luckily, there are techniques and actions you can take to reduce it. The American Psychological Association proposes some:
Track your stressors: Keep a diary where you can identify what situations causing you stress, what you feel and how you react to them. This can help you find patterns in the causes and your reactions.
Develop healthy responses: Try to make healthy choices when you feel the tension grows. Some options are physical activity, time to hobbies, reading, going to concerts or playing with your family. Achieving good sleep quality also helps manage stress try to limit caffeine and minimize stimulating activities at night.
Establish boundaries: Set schedules to carry out work tasks at home, such as limiting time for emails or moments to answer the phone.
Time to disconnect: To avoid burnout, it is important that you take rest and relaxation times to return to your pre-stress functioning levels.
Relax: Apply relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing or mindfulness.
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Put Down The Social Media
Social media is a stress-filled haven.
Whether youre scrolling Instagram and seeing other peoples seemingly perfect lives that youre comparing yours to or youre on Facebook reading about peoples tragedies and GoFundMe pages, its enough to make you take on other peoples stresses as well.
If youre so stressed that youre having trouble operating in your normal life, quit social media.
Log yourself out of your accounts, tell people that you usually communicate with that you can be reached on your phone if they really need to get in touch, and then go dark.
Start discovering your life away from social media and the constant and everpresent drone of the internet, and youll notice your stress levels drop noticeably.
How To Manage Work Stress
Good stress management in the workplace is critical to your overall health.
Life coach Suzy Greaves says one of the key skills to managing workplace stress is knowing how to say no.
“Im constantly challenging clients who say they have no choice but to overwork,” she says. “I coach people to become empowered and believe they have a choice.”
She explains that saying yes can win you brownie points in the short term, but if you take on too much and fail to deliver, it can be a disastrous long-term strategy.
“Have confidence in your no when you think it’s the right decision, even though it may not be the most popular one,” she says. “In the long term, your ability to say no will be one of your most valuable attributes.”
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