Top Five Workplace Stressors [and solutions]
1. Career ambiguity People want to know how they are doing, and whether they are meeting expectations. Uncertainty about jobs and careers can lead to a feeling of helplessness and vulnerability. If you don't communicate your thoughts on their performance, they are stressed about how well they are doing.
Solution - Daily or weekly confirmation can help reduce stress significantly. People want to know that their job is secure and know what is expected of them. Most employees also want to know about career progression and what they must do to advance. Managers who wait until year end to explain job performance are about 51 weeks too late.
Keep people informed of business situations, threats, and obstacles that must be overcome. They'll find out indirectly if you don't tell them. There is no such thing as a secret – so be right up front with everyone.
2. Random interruptions Interruptions keep employees from getting their work done – telephone calls, walk-in visits, and supervisor’s demands.
Solution - You can control this type of stress by encouraging proper time management, delegation of responsibilities, and clarification of expectations.
3. Unclear policies and no sense of direction A lack of focus or direction can cause uncertainty and undermines confidence in management.
Solution - Clear communication of policies and company goals is essential, and it must go beyond the management level. Not all managers are good at communicating these important subjects, so top management must communicate so that everyone is clear on where the company is going and what company policies are enforced. Use emails, meetings, announcements and anything else that reinforces your policy. Repetition is important – actions consistent with policy are more important than words.
4. No appreciation Failure to show appreciation for employee participation generates stress that can endanger future efforts.
Solution - Daily, weekly and monthly appreciation will help reduce stress and increase profits, as well as helping to retain your top talent.
5. The greatest stressor in the workplace is "lack of control" Employees are highly stressed when they feel like they have no control over their participation or the outcome of their work. Poor communication up and down the chain of command leads to decreased performance and increased stress.
Solution - It is important to keep people advised of company policies and changes, and management needs to listen to employees. Savvy managers know the value of employee suggestions, comments, and input on the business as they participate. Very few managers know as much about the individual jobs as those doing the work day after day. Improved communications up the chain of command can give people a chance to pass along ideas, suggestions, and complaints, reducing stress and helping achieve more.