Identify signs of stress in employees
Individuals suffering from stress often display a range of signs that may be noticed by colleagues and other managers.
These signs include:
- Tiredness And Irritability
- Reduced Quality Of Work
- Indecisiveness And Poor Judgement
- Loss Of Sense Of Humour
- Physical Illness Such As Headaches, Nausea, Aches And Pains
- Seeming Jumpy Or Ill-at-ease, Or Admitting To Sleeping Badly
- Increased Sick Leave
- Poor Timekeeping
- Changes In Working Day Patterns – Perhaps By Staying Late Or Taking Work Home
You should also look for signs of more widespread problems among groups of employees, for example:
- arguments and disputes between staff
- general absenteeism
- an increase in grievances and complaints
- greater staff turnover
Dealing with your own stress
Owner-managers and self-employed people need to learn to identify the signs of their own stress and take steps to tackle it.
Signs that you might be experiencing stress yourself could include:
- Poor Judgement And Indecisiveness
- Difficulty In Concentrating
- A Lack Of Assertiveness
- Irritability, Aggressiveness, Depression Or Loss Of Sense Of Humour
- Physical Symptoms Such As Breathlessness, Headaches, Chest Pains, Nausea, Sleeplessness, High Blood Pressure And
- Constant Tiredness
Stress can be magnified if you work alone. If you have no one to confide in, it can be easy for things to get out of proportion.
This can be a particular problem for owner-managers who don’t have the support of a management team and who may feel under pressure to work through periods of stress to ensure the continuity of the business. Although employees expect the managing director to know what to do in a given situation, you may in fact need help yourself.
In addition, business owners often have significant capital invested in the business, putting added pressure on key decisions.
One way of dealing with this is to network with people running businesses of a similar size to talk through each other’s problems.
Common causes of stress at work
- It’s Important To Recognise The Common Causes Of Stress At Work So That You Can Take Steps To Reduce Stress Levels Where Possible.
- Some Typical Stress Inducers
- Excessively High Workloads, With Unrealistic Deadlines Making People Feel Rushed, Under Pressure And Overwhelmed.
- Insufficient Workloads, Making People Feel That Their Skills Are Being Underused.
- A Lack Of Control Over Work Activities.
- A Lack Of Interpersonal Support Or Poor Working Relationships Leading To A Sense Of Isolation.
- People Being Asked To Do A Job For Which They Have Insufficient Experience Or Training.
- Difficulty Settling Into A New Promotion, Both In Terms Of Meeting The New Role’s Requirements And Adapting To Possible Changes In Relationships With Colleagues.
- Concerns About Job Security, Lack Of Career Opportunities, Or Level Of Pay.
- Bullying Or Harassment.
- A Blame Culture Within Your Business Where People Are Afraid To Get Things Wrong Or To Admit To Making Mistakes.
- Weak Or Ineffective Management Which Leaves Employees Feeling They Don’t Have A Sense Of Direction, Or Over-management, Which Can Leave Employees Feeling
- Undervalued And Affect Their Self-esteem.
- Multiple Reporting Lines For Employees, With Each Manager Asking For Their Work To Be Prioritised.
- Failure To Keep Employees Informed About Significant Changes To The Business, Causing Them Uncertainty About Their Future.
- A Poor Physical Working Environment, Eg Excessive Heat, Cold Or Noise, Inadequate Lighting, Uncomfortable Seating, Malfunctioning Equipment, Etc.
- Conflict At Work Can Also Be A Common Area Of Stress