Can you manage stress in the workplace?

Today’s workforce is experiencing higher levels of stress than ever before. We’re currently going through a period of economic and technological change, which provokes personal fears about such issues as job and financial security, opportunities for advancement and, on a broader scale, concern about the viability of the businesses we’re part of.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), statistics confirm that work related stress in the UK is not confined to particular sectors or high risk jobs or industries – it is widespread and is something that all managers need to address before it becomes a serious issue.

As employers, we have a responsibility to help reduce stress in the workplace but, before we can do this, we need to understand what work related stress is and what impact is has on our employees and our business. Stress, as defined by the HSE, is “an adverse reaction a person has to excessive pressure or other types of demands upon them.”

We all need a certain amount of stress to help us function, and many people get their best work done to a deadline. But how can we create and harness “positive stress” – a hugely potent asset in the workplace – without generating all the downsides we normally associate with negative stress, such as frequent absenteeism, staff turnover, organizational underperformance and, very often, human error?

The answer is good, constructive management, creating the right framework for people to produce their best – and feel rewarded and appreciated for that effort. For example, creating a “team” environment in your business, where people feel included in operational decisions and are encouraged to give their feedback, will bring out the very best in those self-starters amongst your employees, as well as those who need direction.

Another essential part of creating a work environment in which employees experience a high “feel good factor” is establishing open and effective lines of communication within your organisation. Make sure that there is two-way dialogue between managers and employees, where information is made easily available and shared, and you will create a trusting environment in which fears, and therefore negative stress, can be alleviated.

The “feel good” factor is a combination of processes, work environment and affective/emotional feelings which encourage employee engagement, motivation, satisfaction and commitment. So make your employees feel good; involve them in your business processes and make them see that change is not something to be feared but can instead be a positive influencer. One that, when properly managed, can lead to growth and profit for your business as well as harmony within your workforce.

If you need assistance in creating an effective work environment, MA Consulting International would be happy to help. Call +441656 766363 or visit our website

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