In today’s work environment stress comes naturally with work, but with a little-coordinated effort from the employee and the employer makes the situation much better to work in!!
The setting and nature of the work that we do today in our offices, makes an obvious invitation to stress. Some believe that stress is good, in fact, it is necessary to drive excellence and growth. Others believe that it is a stress-free and calm environment does the job. There are several jobs which are thought of more stressful than others, or some that become more stressful at a certain point of the year. For example, the job of an employee in TV/Media industry is likely to be stressful all throughout, whereas that of a tax accountant is likely to be stressful when the financial year comes to an end.
The bottom-line is that different people react differently to stressful situations, and therefore, assuming that having a constant pressure to work under is likely to do some specific good or damage is faulty. While a little stress or strain or pressure might act as a catalyst, if it turns into an extreme situation, it might take the form of psychosomatic or physiological ill-health, and might have a harmful effect on work efficiency and peer relationships.
This article will help in putting the spotlight on the bosses, managers, and employers, and also guiding them to help their employees during stressful situations:
1. Find the real cause of the pressure: Don’t assume it is only because of the quantity of the work that is causing stress to employees or certain employees. Probably deeper than that. Find whether the cause of stress is a conflict with a team member, or they are uncertain about the job and their career (in general), or uncomfortable working conditions etc. Stress can also be due to life events outside work, like loss of a loved one, divorce or ill health. It might not always be clear to assess whether the stress is work-related or due to private situations, but it is always advisable to offer help in that situation. Talk to your employee in a calm and compassionate manner, and understand what you can do to make the situation better.
2. Acknowledge more: If you know that your department/organisation has been working extra hard, grilling under pressure, and yet delivering outstanding results – make sure the recognition and rewards also match the level of extra work. As a team, thank the employees for all the sleepless nights and weekends that they have put in. Make sure you do these acknowledgements and recognition in private, as well as in public.
3. Creating a support system: It is not necessary that all people will work better in stress. For the latter ones, create a support system that involves a time-management plan, which many include helping them prioritising their tasks, setting their goals, planning for their future, and allotting work to others wherever possible. Foster a system wherein they can reach and seek support from managers, HR or top management which will help them get accustomed to the work.
4. Flexible and open to listening: Make some room for employees to come up with their innovative suggestions and ideas about how to achieve the deadline faster and better, and using the best of their proposals.
5. Starting a wellness Programme: No matter what is the size of your organisation, big or small, a multi-faceted wellness programme is a must. Start small: replace the coffee with the green tea, include dry fruits and nuts as snacks with tea, setting a 15-minute time-out for de-stressing by doing a funny exercise.
For a team, and an organisation to be successful, the people that work in it need to be at their best. Stress always doesn’t bring out the best potential of people; on the contrary, it will bring ill health and prolonged sickness reducing efficiency. Continuous stressful situations for a long time, at work, can ultimately result in an employee losing motivation, inclined to make mistakes (more often) and just disconnecting with the organisation on the whole. But taking small yet effective steps can help bosses, managers, and employers to fight back this situation.
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