Most Frequently Asked Questions About Stress
Q: What are some of the common causes of work stress?
A: Poor management and insufficient training combined with a lack of communication, are three primary causes. The style and methodology with which management tackles day-to-day issues is clearly important in order to preclude them from becoming real problems. At all levels, there will usually be a pressure to perform in respect of workloads and targets. However, if this pressure is prolonged, it can be stressful. It is therefore most important that the particular management style employed achieves the appropriate balance between consultation and control. In situations, where work is delegated, adequate management training and support should be sufficient to pre-empt the emergence of problems that could well have been foreseen.
Q: I often hear the word ‘presenteeism being used. What is it?’
A: ‘Presenteeism’ is an unhealthy attitude adopted by stressed employees who remain at work when others have gone home. It frequently leads to individuals feeling guilty about taking their annual holiday entitlement, and for these employees, it is often a case of ‘don’t forget your mobile phone and your laptop’, rather than ‘don’t forget your passport and sun screen!’ ‘Presenteeism’ can be a symptom of home-related stress, when the employee prefers to be at work rather than at home. Some people may choose to work longer hours to make up for other inadequacies in their private lives. Whatever, its cause, ‘presenteeism’ is effectively the opposite of ‘absenteeism’ and can be just as detrimental to business.
Q: Can you give me some stress management interventions that are working in industry today?
A: The following initiatives are those that I have introduced into companies over many years:
· Rationalise the stress management function: Review the needs of the organisation and its workforce and provide a business case for the phased provision of stress management training and support and routine risk assessment.
· All organisations should have a policy for managing stress, designed for the protection of the employee and the employer and these policies should be constructive and not adversarial if they are to be effective.
· Stress Awareness training for employees at all levels in the organisation is desirable with the aim of encouraging a supportive corporate culture and philosophy.
· Stress Management training for all those in a supervisory or management role to assistant them in recognising the symptoms of stress, managing and reducing stress levels in their staff.
· Stress Mediation should be introduced providing neutral arbitration between management and employees to avoid situations escalating out of control.
· Stress Counselling for employees requiring a telephone and / or face to face counselling service.
CEO, Carole Spiers Group
BBC Guest-Broadcaster. Motivational Speaker
Author of a new book ‘Show Stress Who’s Boss!’
Member since: 10th July 2012
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