February 2013 saw some rather startling statistics about the impact of stress being released. Research published was from various sources e.g. Canada Life insurance and public sector Unison.
All the figures reported that people were impacted more by stress than the previous year, with the stress causing reduced productivity at work (including days off work), a negative impact on their personal or home lives, and a concern that they could not take much more.
How do I Cope with Stress?
What concerns many people even more though, is that more than one in five people are either too afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. If that is the case, is there more that we should be doing to pick up patterns of behaviour in our colleagues? It is also a sad indicator that most courses people attend on Stress Management are usually how to cope with stress, rather than how to recognise it.So, as somebody's colleague or manager, are you able to pick up when your colleagues are suffering?
Perhaps productivity is down, and absenteeism is on the rise? Perhaps staff turnover has increased? Could these be indicators that the people in your department, and possibly even yourself, are suffering from stress?
Structured approach to Stress Management
Here at ZandaX, we try and approach the subject with two different mindsets. One course that we offer is about managing stress, but the second, Stress Management for Managers, has been designed as a workshop where people can define and quantify stress in the workplace, measure its effects on the organization, identify organizational and individual influences on stress, manage stress in the workplace, and develop personal coping strategies.
So if you are in a large company, perhaps departmental managers should be trained on what to look for, and then how to cope with that. It might be that the problems that you are looking to solve at work might not be a decrease in sales opportunities, or an increase in customer problems. Perhaps the solution lies in the staff in those departments, and if you can help people cope with the stress, all the symptoms will start to disappear.
Similarly, if you are in a small or medium size company, perhaps there are no departmental boundaries that differentiate staff. As a company owner, what can you do to assist picking up these traits in your staff? Or if you are just a regular employee in a small to medium enterprise, if you are feeling stressed, the chances are your colleagues are too. Do you know what to look for? If you do notice things amongst your colleagues, perhaps you need to approach someone to see what can be done to assist.
Should you have any queries about what to look for or what help is available for managers and staff in this regard, simply ask for help. That is the most important step!
For more information about stress management training courses, click here.
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