Six Questions To Make Your Workplace Stress-Free
Many CEOs see stress as an intractable problem which would cost too much to tackle properly -- or alternatively something that only affects 'whiners' whom their organisations would be better off without. Employee assistance programmes, corporate gym memberships and flexible hours are seen as expensive, of dubious effectiveness, and in the worst case, as mollycoddling staff. Many organisations do the bare minimum to comply with legislation -- and some get stung for heavy penalties as the law gradually tightens up.
Let's look at stress in a different way. Stress is a drain on your organisation's productivity, morale and commitment. When you remove the causes of stress in your organisation, not only will everyone feel better about coming to work, your bottom line will improve. And if you can get the answers right to these six simple common-sense questions, codes of practice and counselling programmes won't come into the equation. Are you interested yet?
Why The Questions Are In This Form
We could ask questions that look at the situation from the outside, like "Do my team members have what they need to do the job?" This detached, third-party viewpoint is the way that managers have traditionally looked at 'people factors' in the past. This won't get you the whole answer.
In order to understand the subjective experience of your people -- which is what determines their morale, stress levels and performance -- you have to put yourself in their shoes, or better still, ask them. This is why the questions are in the form they are. The information you need is in the answers you will get when your employees ask themselves these questions. You can get a lot of information just by putting yourself in the shoes of each of your team members -- with their resources and attitudes -- rather than assuming that they think in the same way you do.
1. Are my work patterns and environment healthy?
-- Is the environment safe, clean, and easy on the eye?
-- Is it well laid out, with the things you need easy to find and get to?
-- Is it as quiet as it needs to be?
-- Is there a 'quiet room' for thinking / relaxation?
-- Can I take a break every hour and a half or so (more frequently if doing intense keyboard and screen work, or hard physical labour)?
--Are my de facto working hours reasonable (no more than 8 hours a day, except in cases of dire need)?
As a manager you need to set an example -- you are the model for success, so if you don't take breaks and go home at a reasonable time, nor will your team members.
2. Do I have what I need to do the job?
-- Do I have the equipment I need to do the job?
-- Do I know what is expected of me?
-- Do I have the skills and training to do the job?
-- Does my job allow me to do what I am best at?
3. Do I know when I'm doing a good job?
Ask yourself 'How do I know when I'm doing a good job?' If the answer is, 'I just know', you can feel happy doing your job without external feedback, and may even regard it as an insult to your competence. You'll still need some feedback as a 'reality check'.
People who answer 'The customer tells me' or 'The boss tells me' (and you need people like this in, for example, a customer service role) will literally not know if they are doing well unless they get regular feedback. If all they get is a yearly appraisal, don't be surprised if they feel increasingly nervous as it approaches.
4. Do I feel my job is important?
People need meaning in their lives. If the job is meaningful to them, they will feel more motivated and more able to overcome setbacks and difficulties.
5. Am I recognised as an individual?
People also need to feel valued. If they feel they are just an interchangeable cog in the machine, their sense of self will be threatened. They will also feel nervous about being replaced or disposed of.
6. Am I learning and growing?
A standard concept in stress management is the 'Human Performance Curve' . The idea is that when you're under pressure, your performance rises to meet the challenge. Beyond a certain point, or if the pressure is sustained for too long, we get 'burnout' as the person becomes exhausted. But, if there is too little challenge, we get the mirror-image condition of 'rust-out', which is equally stressful.
If they are not learning and growing, achievement-oriented people will begin to fret about their 'competitors' getting ahead. Rust-out is particularly a problem in organizations which punish mistakes rather than viewing them as opportunities for learning.
If someone is under-utilised, but fears to take the initiative because they are worried about doing something wrong, they are in a double-bind. After all, they are at work, so they are supposed to be working. This is when we get 'presenteeism' -- being at work and appearing to be busy without actually doing anything.
If you and your team members could answer 'Yes' to each of these questions, any stress remaining in the workplace will either be a healthy response to immediate external challenges, spurring the organisation on to greater efforts, or will be the consequence of external factors in the individual's life such as family pressures.
A well-run, pleasant workplace in which individuals are valued and have the opportunity to learn and grow will aid recovery even from external stresses, rather than making them worse. Stress is antithetical both to individual well-being and organizational productivity. It makes sense to minimise it.
Andy Smith is an Emotional Intelligence coach and NLP Trainer based in the UK. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His website, at http://www.practicaleq.com/products/, contains many free articles and downloads. Sign up for Andy's "Practical EQ" newsletter by sending a blank email to:email@example.com
Stress Managment and Mastery: Too Much to Do Stress - Write it Down, Break it Down, Knock it Down
"I've got too much to do, I've just got too much to do!"
Reduce The Stress!
First, let's make a distinction between pressure and stress. We all have sources of pressure in our lives - sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. These pressures have a multitude of sources such as family, job, lack of job, finances, health or lack of time.
Dynamic Guide - How to Recharge Your Mind With A Refreshing Recreational Activity!
Let's face it! The majority of our time is either spent sleeping or working. The demands of our employers and our workspace means that we are all highly stressed. We face one hundred and one problems that demand our fullest attention during the day at our workplace and when we return home, we face domestic difficulties that need urgent resolution.
Conquer Stress and Anxiety Naturally With This Safe and Effective Method
Rhodiola Rosea is the latest natural remedy to join the arsenalof natural anxiety and stress reducers.
Stress Management: Declare Your Freedom To........................
1) Create the life you desire
Stress Management: 3 Rules for Dealing with Difficult People
Seems like more and more they are all around us. You know who I'm talking about - all those difficult people who seem to cross our path everyday.
Children Playing - How Play Is Important To Kids And Adults
You can learn a lot by watching children playing. There is no greater sight than to see children pretending to be superheroes or digging for treasure in a sandbox. To hear the laughter and see a child's excitement can bring a smile to any adult's face. An important part of a child's development is through play. A child's problem solving skills are developed through play. Children are able to work on relationships, build self-esteem and decrease their anger. In the course of a child's life adults usually teach children, but on the playground children can teach adults how to have fun.Unfortunately, some children had to grow up so fast that they never had the experience of play. When this happens, they often miss out on a healthy part of their development. These children often grow up to be adults who are more angry and depressed.Whether you are an adult who missed out on play as a child or an adult who lost site of the importance of play, take the time out of your busy day to watch children playing. By watching children play you can regain some of that fun, enabling you to see how carefree and fun life should be.To incorporate play in your life, think back to your childhood.* What did you do for fun?* Did you experience play or did you observe children playing?* Ask yourself how you can bring play into your adult life?If you are having difficulty in your life and are in need of a break just take the time out of your busy unrelenting day to watch children play. If you feel comfortable doing so, join in the fun. The stresses and strains of your daily life will just slip away.
Do You Have Your Foot On The Pedal? Are You Overwhelmed At Work?
Is your in-tray or inbox full? I don't normally check the time that emails are sent to me, but for some reason I noticed that Nadia's message had beensent at 2am. In her email she explained that she really needed some help, to deal with all the stress in her life:
How Stress Effects Neurotransmitters
The brain uses feel-good transmitters called endorphins when managing daily stress. When the brain requires larger amounts of endorphins to handle increased stress, the ratio of many of the other transmitters, one to another, becomes upset creating a chemical imbalance. We begin to feel stress more acutely -- a sense of urgency and anxiety creates even more stress. As a result, harmful chemicals are released in our bodies that may do damage, causing more stress. This vicious cycle is called the "stress cycle." Emotional fatigue might result and be experienced and felt as depression.
Stress In The Workplace
According to the Australian Council of Trade Unions' (A.C.T.U.) 1997 survey, fifty per cent of workers had suffered some form of stress at work in a 12-month period. The statistics in care professions were even higher, with the Department of Education and Training in Western Australia reporting in its 2002 Attitudes To Teaching Survey that seventy per cent of teachers identified workplace stress as a cause for concern in their teaching positions.
10 Ways to Enjoy Your Stress More
1. The Mentor Method: think of your favorite person. Someone you love, admire, trust, like a mentor or someone from your spiritual tradition. Simply thinking about them will help you change your focus from the stress hooey to a more desirable response associated with your favorite person. Also, you do not need to wait to get stressed out to do this as thinking of your hero's always makes you feel better. Pictures of family and loved ones also help so make sure you have these at work. Think of happy and/or silly times you've had with these people. Feel better already don't you? Good. Now relax, take a deep breath and enjoy yourself even more as you read on...
Stress Managment: How to Beat the Get By Syndrome
I'm sure you have heard of IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, a painful and difficult-to-treat digestive disease.
The Case Of The Missing Vacation
This is the time for daydreaming about your annual vacation. Sounds enticing.
Shit happens. I know this to be a fact, because I read it on a t-shirt. ;-)
Practical Ways to Bring Enchantment into Your Life
THE ENCHANTED SELF® teaches you how to access positive states of well being again and again. These positive states are unique to you and often reflect your interests, talents, and potential. I thought it would be fun to finally share with you some activities useful in helping you get in touch with your Enchanted Self. I hope you enjoy them and will let me know how they worked out by writing to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Emotional Health] Are You Feeling In Control?
When it is all said and done, do you feel like you stay on an even keel emotionally most of the time? Here is a story about how easy it is to lose one's emotional balance.
Mental and Physical Stress
All people experience stress and anxiety in one form or another. Sometimes it can be helpful but if allowed to become chronic, it produces a physically debilitating, unhealthy and destructive mind-set that actually increases stress levels and lowers immune system efficiency.
FEAR: How to Defeat the Monster
What is the greatest fear of man? Is it death? Pain? Poverty? Physical ailments? Loneliness? Surveys tell us that the number one fear among modern people is public speaking, of all things!
Overcome the Top 10 Causes of Workplace Stress
Workplace stress is on the rise and it's costingcorporate America a fortune. Some estimate that80% of health care costs are stress related, andthese expenses go right to the bottom line.
Aromatherapy Candles Release Stress
Have you been feeling so stressful and almost losing your patience over anything? Everything seems to be shattered and you think that you cannot handle it anymore. This is definitely the perfect time to lighten the burden! Aromatherapy is a great conclusion. Some scented aromatherapy candles will help you out! What are aromatherapy candles anyway? Let's find out about them in here.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|