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Stress Management for Managers

Updated on June 13, 2011

Work related stress is an evergreen topic of an occupational health psychology. Costs involved, both human and financial, in resolving this issue are ridiculously high. Even though it is impossible to be completely stress-free, effective management plays a vital role in reducing and preventing job stress. Make a big difference with taking on board these simple stress management tips.

  1. Be content with yourself and act as a role model at all times. During the most difficult times, be able to use your Emotional Intelligence and leadership qualities. As a leader, you should differentiate between stress and pressure. Never let your people see you panic.
  2. Be able to identify the signs of stress in your team members. Communicate with your team on a regular basis. You will save time guessing what possibly caused stressful situation at work. As a manager/leader you must have a good solid understanding of risk implications for employees and an organisation.
  3. Remember that stress management is a proactive process. Create positive environment for your employees where they can get all the necessary training and support. Give them more control over how they do their tasks.
  4. Your employees should be clear about their roles and responsibilities within an organisation. As a manager, ensure that these roles are not conflicting and unreasonable. Everyone has to know what is expected of them.
  5. Make sure workload and deadlines are fair for each and every employee. High demands and expectations should be rewarded accordingly. The last things you want are for your employees to burnout and take sick leave.
  6. Motivate your employees. Start with getting to know them, set smart goals and deadlines, involve them in decision-making process, applaud them, create worthy job titles, invest in their training, support and reward them – do whatever it takes to keep motivation levels high.
  7. Have faith in your employees. If you have hired the right people, then you should be able to trust them. When teams are small and time is limited, do not be afraid to give some tasks to junior staff. They will be more than happy to accept an opportunity to show off their skills and talents.
  8. Share information and listen to concerns. Uncertainty, especially during change, causes unjustified stress. Talk to your team members on a regular basis, know and be willing to explain what is going on. Hold formal and informal meetings.
  9. Let your people know that you take health and safety seriously. Provide stress management education to employees. Make sure they know that you care and understand when you suggest stress management tools. Try to implement various techniques.
  10. Provide opportunities for career development. Offer your employees monetary and non-monetary rewards. Let them know they are valued – praise good performance. Never blame or get extremely emotional. Be willing to listen, compromise and find a solution together.
  11. Treat all employees equally. Make your rules clear – you should not allow or tolerate harassment and bullying. Your people should know they will not get away with it, there will be serious consequences.
  12. Encourage your people to take coffee breaks, lunches and full holiday entitlement. You want your staff to take well deserved time off work. The opposite of stress is relaxation. Socialise with your staff informally. Do not talk about work during corporate parties!
  13. When you are concerned about specific employee, discuss various sources of help within/outside your organisation. If stress is affecting employee’s performance and is beyond your control, speak with your HR advisor.

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