Stress at work is a big problem, so I am led to believe. It is a difficult thing to manage however as the causes are manyfold and may not be related to the working environment. It is certainly a contributing factor. I know this, as I have recently completed my ‘Recognising and managing stress in the workplace’ online course. If not properly managed, stress can be associated with poor health, lower productivity and increased absence. Clearly it is something we should be concerned about.
I have learnt that there are six main contributors to work based stress:
- Demands – such as workload, work patterns and environment
- Control – how much say a person has in the way they work
- Support – including sponsorship, encouragement, management, colleagues and resources
- Relationships – including conflict and behaviour
- Role – understanding of where they fit into the organisation
- Change – management and the communication of it both small and large
How interesting as these play into my beliefs about management and control. All of these contributors are management or leadership related and so a different approach should go a long way to resolving the issues.
- Work should be described and not prescribed. It should be defined and then the people left to set their own way of doing it.
- People should not be controlled. Control should be delegated to those doing the work.
- The key role of management and leadership is support and the development of an environment in which the work can be done.
- Relationships should be encouraged and developed.
- People should be given enough clarity to be able to contribute but this must not be absolute as this leads to a stifling of their ability and creativity.
- As for change, this is something that will be ever present and we need to learn to live with the ambiguity.
What stresses me out most is that people can’t see this. We need to let go more in order to create less stressful working environments.
I’m feeling more mellow already.