Every workplace is vocal about the harmful effects of stress and swears to the already applied techniques and strategies for stress management in the workplace.
But stress persists. Why is that?
First, we need to accept that stress is a normal part of life and cannot be completely annihilated.
Second, we need to understand the differences between useful and harmful stress.
And third, do something about things that can be changed.
Watch episode E48 from the #AsktheCEO series to learn more:
What Causes Works Stress in the First Place?
People often say they feel stressed but don’t know why exactly.
Let us simplify things:
You are most likely stressed because of one of the following reasons:
- Perceived job demands. You think work tasks are beyond your means.
- Social demands. You struggle with access to common goods and values, such as space, ambiance qualities, amenities, emancipation, or fairness.
- Individual differences. You find other people’s personalities, behaviors, values, moods, and emotions affect your job performance.
Confused about what concretely requires consideration for implementing new strategies for stress management in your workplace? Here are a few examples that can help.
Examples of Stress Factors in the Workplace
Stress factors that emerge at the workplace and illustrate the above are:
- Work environment. Artificial lighting, noise, temperature, and insufficient oxygen supply are examples of negative environmental stressors.
- Relationships. Relationships can suffer if there is a fear of dismissal.
- Organizational culture. Lack of alignment between shared values and team standards that affect the group as a whole.
- Work atmosphere. The atmosphere is defined by the way employees perceive the organizational functioning. For example, if an employee thinks an organization is unpredictable and lacks transparency, it can be a stress factor.
- Role conflict and role ambiguity. The incompatibility between job demands and other work aspects creates role conflict – when the employee gets different or contradictory tasks. Unclear responsibilities create role ambiguity.
- Personality-related stress factors. Conscientious employees find it more difficult to cope with stress.
- Career advancement conflict. The inability to progress in one’s career is a source of workplace stress.
- Poor work-life balance. Add personal life demands to the job demands and you create a recipe for stress.
There are three ways you can fight stress in the workplace. In organizational research, they are known as interventions. For the sake of enhancing leadership qualities, we can call them strategies for managing workplace stress.
Strategies for Stress Management in the Workplace
The three types of interventions for managing stress address factors that cause stress, how individual people deal with stress, and the role of relational support in stress management.
Primary interventions are actions managers can take to eliminate or reduce stressful factors in the work environment. You can change work conditions to make them less stressful and less counterproductive to help your team cope effectively.
Action to take: conduct a risk assessment to identify stress factors and develop coping mechanisms.
Secondary interventions are actions everyone can take to alleviate the effects of already existing stressful factors. If work conditions that cause stress cannot be eliminated, take measures to help your team adapt to the stressful circumstances.
Emotion-focused stress management techniques are under the cap of this strategy. These help people deal with emotional distress from harm or threat.
Action to take: schedule learning and development programs for coping with stress, stress management training, and techniques to manage stress.
Learn more about using stress to your benefit.
Tertiary interventions are actions that include social or counseling support—support that comes from colleagues, stress management, or mental health specialists.
Colleagues can either be a source of stress or help fight stress. Identifying which relational transactions belong to the first and the second groups is important. Once you do that, you can introduce measures that change the interpersonal dynamics in the affected group or dyadic relationship.
Action to take: counseling.
Listen to the Virtual Frontier Podcats to learn more:
The Benefits of Having a Stress Management Strategy in Place
The benefits of incorporating stress management into your work culture are multiple:
- Better employee awareness about techniques for managing stress
- Growing self-confidence
- Trust in one’s ability to handle mental and emotional health challenges
- Noticing and capturing new work opportunities
- Improved team productivity
A good place to start reshaping your workplace stress management strategy is by doing a risk assessment.
Not sure where to start?
Click below to learn more and download your FREE template:
Risk Assessment Template for Stress Management at Work