Work Stress at a 4-year high
I was shocked, yet not surprised that the report featured in HR Magazine revealed such a high figure of workplace stress.
The impact of high work stress levels include increased absenteeism and lower productivity – both negatively impacting the bottom line. For individuals, stress can result in less well being and a higher chance of burn out.
How can stressed workers be creative and intrapreneurial in their approach? Even though the article indicates that work stress affects leaders and managers less than frontline workers, their ability to add true value to the organisation must be hampered when not at full par.
How can somebody who doesn’t feel OK, help to encourage and motivate their team? in fact they’re probably more likely to engage in poor behaviours that would actively disengage employees in those circumstances!
“The main causes of employee stress, identified in the report, are work-life conflict; poor leadership and management behaviour; lack of job security; lack of team cohesiveness; lack of cooperation and dissatisfaction with the level of pay.”
The Impact of Layoffs on Work Stress
According to the research, staff that worked in an environment where their colleagues were made redundant experienced a work stress level of nearly 40%. This was compared to the reduced level of 25% where there had been no layoffs in the same period.
In my experience two things immediately happen when restructuring and redundancy/layoffs happen, or are even mentioned:
- Trust goes down
- Scarcity mentality goes up
How to Combat Work Stress
Obviously this is a huge subject, however I’d like to throw a few ideas into the pot for you to consider…
- Work to get people into Flow. (This is where you are doing what you are naturally suited to and add effective value to others.) When people feel stressed that is often a sign that they are out of flow. Talent Dynamics is all about developing an organisation whilst accelerating Trust and Flow – so you may well find in getting your
- Increase communication levels both from corporate and managerial perspectives. Think whatever level you believe it should be at and double it! Use different channels, make it easy for managers to communicate clearly and consistently.
- Get to the root causes of work stress and empower staff to tackle it where possible. When employees get the opportunity to identify obstacles and your help in removing them you would be amazed at the results! Watch what happens when they are given the time and right environment to come up with ideas and solutions that they can be involved in implementing. This is the kind of action that allows people experiencing work stress to feel like they have a modicum of control again – the lack of which is often an underlying reason for feeling work stress in the first place.