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Stress within Organisations

Related:   Dealing with Stress   Emotional Explosions   Manage Interruptions   Manage your own stress    > Stress within Organisations <  
Stress within Organisations

Stress within Organisations

If you are responsible for preventing and reducing stress within organisations, you should:

  • Acknowledge stress in others. As a leader, you should not be afraid to talk to someone if you think they are suffering from stress, and then be prepared to help and support them. Often, just acknowledging the existence of stress and showing understanding can provide enough energy to see the solution, remove the stress, and ultimately overcome the problem.
  • Build a positive team environment. It is possible to reduce stress for others by developing good communication systems, a supportive team approach, a blame-free environment, and a clear sense of involvement and responsibility.

Other factors that can also help include mentoring schemes that prevent, identify, and treat cases of stress; appraisal systems; and simply knowing and understanding the people that work with you. For some senior managers in large organisations, this may not be possible, in which case these values need to be passed down the chain of command so that they are supported throughout the organisation.

Common mistakes

You think you can do it all alone

People sometimes take on too much, thinking that they can cope without additional support. Perhaps you think you are saving your organisation money by covering a number of responsibilities-but in reality you could be wasting money in missed opportunities or inefficiency. Often, under stress, the one thing we become incapable of doing well is delegating work appropriately. Better communication and prioritising objectives are therefore essential. Identifying better resource management, prioritising the workload, building in contingency time, anticipating pressure points, and monitoring progress are all important in dealing with stress.

You don't say 'no'

Perhaps you're one of those people who are capable of sustaining high levels of activity over a long period of time, and it has become expected that you always perform at that pitch. Your colleagues are unlikely to be aware of the sacrifices being made. There may be no reward for your sacrifice - in fact, you may have additional work dumped on you. The solution is being assertive and saying 'no' when the pressure is too great.

You succumb to a 'long hours culture' at work

In some organisations, stress creates status, where stress is interpreted as accomplishment. Many people put in long hours in the hope that their hard work will be noticed and rewarded, but are secretly resentful that they have to do this. Working on outputs rather than inputs will help define your success. Find out whether others view hard work as positive or not.

You take it out on others

Stress is no respecter of boundaries. Stress from one aspect of your life will eventually affect all other elements of your life too. Try not to transfer the pressures to those who are not part of the problem. Work on the causes and not the symptoms.

Steps to success

  • Recognising the symptoms and understanding the causes of workplace stress is vital in preventing it becoming an issue.
  • The changing nature of work makes stress more complex, varied, and quite possibly more common. It is important to acknowledge that you are stressed and act upon that knowledge quickly-draw up a plan of action and follow it.
  • Remember that you have to work at reducing stress-it won't happen by itself! The time you devote to managing stress will be repaid by increased efficiency and enjoyment of your time, both at work and at home.
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Stress Management Skills Training is a service offered by Tremendis Learning CC (2006/019194/23). Copyright Protected 2016, All rights reserved. Designed by Monre J Botes.
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