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Are you Stressing Your People Out? Top Tips for Managers

Published 23rd September 2016 by Thomas Bale
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Stress in the workplace can be caused by both internal and external influences. It's the role of a leader to monitor and manage the stress of their people to ensure performance is sustainable. Read our Top Tips for Managing Stress and keeping your people on track.

 

Now's the time to check that you're Managing Stress at Work properly.

Common causes include high workloads, unrealistic deadlines, job insecurity, lack of clarity of role, and feeling undervalued. Roles without sufficient levels of challenge, a lack of clear policies and procedures, and poorly managed organisational change can also lead to stress. Stressful circumstances cannot be entirely avoided and helping employees to develop resilience and coping strategies is an effective way of minimising impact. While external causes of stress are more difficult to proactively manage, an employee who feels supported within their organisation is less likely to let stress impact on their work.

Why is stress management important?
Whatever the cause of stress, it can hinder the productivity and performance not only of individuals, but also of their teams and, in some cases, the wider organisation. Line managers play an important role in minimising stress and reducing the cost of its impact.

What's the impact of high stress levels?
• Physical health
• Mental wellbeing – leading to distress, anxiety, depression, lack of concentration, vulnerability, tearfulness, moodiness, or reduced self-esteem and/or interpersonal skills
• Engagement, motivation and commitment – when an employee feels they are exposed to stressful situations the employee– employer relationship can breakdown, resulting in lower employee engagement, reduced motivation and less commitment.

How do the best leaders manage the stress of their people?

Process planning and organisation
Always be aware of workloads and plan to ensure they remain manageable.
Empower your people
Trust your team. By giving them responsibility they will feel more respected and valued.
Develop skills
Help to develop individuals, and their skills, within the scope of their role.
Make yourself available
Have regular contact with your team and let them know they can come to you for support.
Manage conflict
Prevent bullying by dealing with incidents immediately. Resolve conflicts fairly and justly.
Manage your emotions
Remain calm under pressure. Understand the need for different management styles and see each team member as an individual with different lives, stress levels and needs.
Communicate
Keep your team updated. Communicate goals and objectives and explain how they relate to the organisation’s overall aims.
Listen to individual viewpoints and consult with the team on matters that affect them and their jobs