What do you think the stress level is at your workplace? Every workplace has stress. Management should be concerned about the level of stress in the workplace.
Some people have personal stress the carries into the work life. This could be any number of things such as home problems, health, financial worries, and the like. It is wise for management to have outside help available rather then getting involved with employees’ private issues. A good EAP (Employee Assistance Program) can be obtained through an outside provider.
However, this conversation is about workplace stress brought on in the workplace. Being challenged at work can escalate into having a highly demanding job. Often a result of poorly designed jobs, stress resulting from excessive demand happens when workloads become overwhelming, or skills or talents don't match the position. That being said, here are 7 workplace factors that might be causing stress with your team.
Job Demand – A challenging assignment is good for career growth but what about an assignment that is so demanding, and the holder of the job has no realistic expectation of success? One way to avoid this is placing people in jobs where they have the greatest potential and the most passion. Don’t make an auto mechanic out of a cook!
Effort/Reward Balance – If high levels of effort are put in with very little reward a stressful situation is created. Without an effort/reward balance, an employee can feel disconnected, unmotivated and even angry. This is not just compensation reward but recognition as well.
Control - Feeling powerless is a universal cause of job stress. Look carefully at job duties and accountabilities and make sure that that authority matches responsibility. Lack of control comes from high responsibility paired with low authority, not being heard, not being involved and others not understanding your work.
Organizational Change - Changes within the organization– from management restructuring to new policies and procedures – impact individuals differently. For some, it brings apprehension, insecurity and confusion – all which can raise stress levels when changes are not properly communicated or understood.
Manager/Supervisor – This is a big one and as HR professionals know, people do not leave jobs they leave supervisors. Reasonable directives from your boss should be expected. It’s when he or she creates enormous pressure or challenges, to the point of it hindering your workload, that cause stress to increase.
Social Support - An unsupportive social environment can cause workplace stress. Managers who don’t provide clear and consistent information and co-workers who fail to assist one another leaves employees feeling unengaged and unproductive.
Job Security - Fearing for your job is extremely stressful. However, stress can also be caused by lack of advancement, being promoted too slowly or being promoted too quickly to be successful in the job.
Needless to say, if you have this stress you need to address it. However, you should know the stress levels of your team and address the causes of that stress. Right now, we are finding the stress levels are high because of the events of the last year. Don’t wait until it is too late. Take action now.
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