TABLE OF CONTENTS
Stressed employees are characterized by lower productivity at work. More and more managers, when organizing the work of their team, pay attention to the issue of stress. Numerous actions are taken to minimize this negative phenomenon.
It’s not a joke. Countless studies show that excess stress can cause real physical symptoms like headaches, upset stomach, increased blood pressure, chest pain, and trouble sleeping. It seems that stress is an individual matter and it is difficult to control it. Each of us reacts differently to the work environment and the tasks we face.
Key areas to control
There are methods to measure stress levels at work, home or in the local community. The most important thing is to identify key features of the stress, followed by their control and mitigation. It is also important not to treat stress in isolation and to take all actions with the participation of employees themselves.
Leadership and justice
Prevention of stress at work is first and foremost to establish clear working principles in consultation with the employees themselves. Subordinates must be aware that management activities have a positive impact on improving working conditions.
It is also important to implement procedures to protect employees against discrimination. The most pressing problem seems to be the unequal treatment of men and women, both in terms of the division of labor and responsibilities, as well as the awarding of prizes and benefits. The importance of informal communication is increasingly being pointed out. Various forms of integration of managers and subordinates are organized. On the one hand, they can be informal meetings (outside the workplace), as well as organized events, sporting events or trips. Another tip is the need to maintain privacy and confidentiality in superior-subordinate relations. Employee information regarding his state of health, discrimination, and being a victim of violence cannot be brought into public circulation. The basic principle, which is a quick reaction to emerging problems, is often trivialized. Meanwhile, delayed decision making on difficult issues leads to stratification, and increases stress level, indirectly to a decrease in employee productivity.
Too many duties or too high task difficulty can only be an apparent cause of stress. In fact, sometimes the problem lies in a poorly worked out schedule. Careful planning avoids time pressure and irritation. It also protects against making mistakes. Dates are worth negotiating not only with customers but also with the employees themselves to make it easier to fit them into the rhythm of the team's work. Minimizing stress means clearly delegating tasks and responsibilities. To this end, it is necessary to create complete job descriptions. It is also worth considering the real purpose of the tasks. It is mainly about choosing priorities (e.g. quality or quantity) so as to avoid unnecessary conflicts in the future.
Sometimes it is worth thinking about increasing the freedom of the employee or the whole team. The manager sets a goal and deadline, regular meetings devoted to reporting activities are helpful in this case. They can be morning meetings or organized at set intervals (e.g. once a month), during which employees will discuss problems and possible solutions. If necessary, it may be necessary to expand knowledge, i.e. courses and training conducted during working hours or possibly in free time.
Opinions and complaints reported by subordinates to management should not be ignored, but rather treated as the first step to develop good solutions. A sense of support is built through mutual help and sharing knowledge and experience. Especially new employees and those who are experiencing problems should have advisors and mentors appointed. Such good practices in relationships should be communicated in the forum of the entire company. Sometimes an organization's own resources are not enough to solve problems. Examples include alcohol and drug addiction as well as depression. Then it turns out necessary to cooperate with external social institutions.
Of course, working conditions affect stress levels. Daily struggle with threats, fear of losing health or life can effectively paralyze employees. This particularly applies to sectors where there are the most accidents at work, such as mining and manufacturing. Subordinates directly exposed to health loss must be aware of the existence of procedures to reduce or eliminate all hazards. In order to achieve this effect, it is first and foremost necessary to inform employees about the principles of health and safety at work and a clear division of responsibility for safety.
Work life balance
Work life balance has been a very fashionable topic in recent years, it means maintaining a balance between personal and professional life. It is more and more often said that an employee who is overtired and deprived of rest becomes after some time less efficient and the tasks he performs mechanically. The era in which everyone worked 8 hours a day is long gone. Working time is increasingly adapted to the needs of the organization and the employees themselves. One way to maintain this balance in life is to introduce flexible working hours. It is the employee who decides when he starts work and when he finishes it, and he has to work a certain number of hours in a given period (e.g. during the week). But there are other ways to optimize working time. It is therefore worth considering additional breaks, avoiding overtime, planning a vacation, more favorable planning of shift work, part-time work.
Celebrating at work
In this area, it is important, correctly identify the team's work efficiency and the contribution of individual employees to the company's success. Subordinates should be kept informed about the effects and quality of their work. The best must be appreciated. It is good practice to publicly announce employee performance.
However, it is worth remembering that every employee counts on the assessment of their work, regardless of whether it performs it correctly or not. If the employer's expectations are not met, the subordinate should be informed about what he is doing wrong and how it can be improved. Appreciating work also involves informing the employee about possible development paths in the company. Regular meetings between the manager and subordinates aiming at learning his opinions about the workplace, fears and problems seem to be the preferred solution.