Steps to reduce stress for your staff
There is a range of actions you can take as managers which could be of use in reducing stress for your staff:-
• Provide/Increase opportunities for staff to control their work; establish their own priorities.
• Plan all changes together or to whatever extent possible.
• Keep in constant touch, define limits of work tasks and give support in accomplishing tasks.
• Treat a collective goal as a target – not a staff competition to establish who is best or worst.
• Provide an atmosphere where there are opportunities to talk things over whenever needed.
• Recognise that anger is part of everyone’s personality and reduce your own. By dealing constructively with rising aggression you can improve your communication and problem solving skills.
• Encourage staff not to be consumed by their career objectives.
• Give honest performance appraisals and help staff to make self-assessments so that they do not move to posts to which they are unsuited.
• Reduce organisational uncertainty; protect staff from worry about events over which they have no control.
• Ensuring working conditions are healthy and reasonably pleasant.
As someone who is managed you can help contribute to your own well-being by:-
• Avoid having a too rigid schedule. When possible, vary it and eliminate most of the self-imposed deadlines.
• Trying to develop a positive attitude. Force yourself to see every event in its most positive light.
• Listing those events which cause you stress and identify what is about each event that is causing stress. Map out a strategy for consciously attempting to lessen the stress each time the events occur.
• Getting on with the task to get it over with rather than worrying yourself sick about it.
Healthy coping at work involves:-
• Really knowing yourself, understanding and accepting your own strengths and weaknesses. Knowing those personality factors that cannot be changed and those skills, professional and social, on which to capitalise.
• Having interests outside work which are regularly pursued, so that you can get a variety of satisfaction from life.
• Reacting in different ways to stressful events –
o You don’t always develop a headache when angry with your boss or become depressed when faced with an apparently minor threat.
o Not always hyperactive or frozen by incapacity under stressful conditions.
o Bouncing back quickly from stress reactions.
• Acknowledging that others have different values, different ways of doing things; accepting this as a fact of life without attempting to build others over in his/her image.
• Being active and productive at work without sacrificing your outside work activity.
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