How to manage stress in today’s organization. That is a challenge with which many business owners wrestle. Regardless of company size or work performed within the company, everyone wants recommendations to reduce workplace stress.
What is workplace stress?
“Job stress can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. Job stress can lead to poor health and even injury.”
[Stress at work, (United States National Institute
of Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, 1999.]
Who Experiences Workplace Stress?
All of us experience workplace stress at one time or another. We do not have to be “going to work” in the business world to experience it. It is present in every situation where we are responsible for jobs. If a mother is responsible to manage the household budget, and has never learned to manage money, she will encounter workplace stress. If a father takes on the responsibility of coaching the local soccer team, but lacks the capabilities to do a proper job, he will likely experience workplace stress. This is why each individual needs to enhance its immune system with proper diet and lots of exercise.
The following five recommendations to reduce workplace stress are offered as a beginning step.
1. Clarify: Be sure each employee has a job description, and fully understands everything on it. If you are the employee, request a job description. Know WHO is responsible for a task, and WHAT the task is, and you will reduce workplace stress.
2. Control: Give employees as much control as possible, since control directly impacts reactions to high stress situations. An employee who is allowed, within reason, to control his or her workflow will be much more able to handle workplace stress.
3. Communicate: Make communication easy among workers. Employees and employers alike should be comfortable with conversations about positive and negative situations. Comfortable communication on small matters can lead to communication on workplace stress, thereby reducing the problem.
4. Condition: Physical exercise is an essential recommendation to reduce workplace stress. If you are an employee, recommend this to your boss. If you are the boss, recommend it to employees. Then take action to be sure there is a TIME and a PLACE where exercise can take place. Research shows that stress can also lead to weight gain. Exercise is good enough to do the trick to attain good physical condition.
5. Counsel: Every employee, at whatever level in a company, should be counseled regarding the WHY of recommendations to reduce workplace stress. If everyone recognizes the impact of stress-related illness and injury on the bottom line, and realizes the impact of that on individual salaries, greater adherence can be expected to the first four recommendations to reduce workplace stress.
Research studies have shown that workplace stress impairs a worker’s ability to function intellectually, emotionally, and in his or her interactions with others. He or she is rendered incapable of meeting the requirements of the job.
A wise employer will reduce workplace stress. A wise employee will do everything possible to communicate his or her to the employer, and work together to reduce workplace stress.