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Dealing with Workplace Stress

Fort Worth Business Jurrnal:

Most often we do not realize that when we go to work, we are thrown into a mountain of stress in addition to what we already deal with at home and in our personal life. This can be overwhelming for some of us. Learning to deal with work place stress can improve our lives.  Establishing work life balance can help us to live a stress free life.Work place stress can be traced to three sources:

  • Self-generated work place stress:  It will help you to realize that it is not what anybody says or does that produces stress, but rather how you perceive it.   If the meaning is negative we feel badly and become distressed.

We have a choice and we are not helpless. Reframing the issues and looking at the problem from a different perspective can generate alternative ways to deal with the situation. For example, if you receive criticism from your supervisor, view it as an opportunity to learn and grow, you would not be stressed.

  • Job-related work place stressBecause of the slow economy, many company leaders had to tighten their belts and cut their workforce in an effort to trim budgets. Often the workers at the lowest level are let go. The workers left are required to do the job of two or even three workers and their work load increases. In addition to their increased workload is extreme job insecurity.

To avoid being let go, learn a new skill and/or gain a new specialization so that you become indispensable to your company.  If you do lose your job, you will have a better chance getting hired with the new skills you learned.

  • Company culture of stress: As economic pressures continue to mount, stress begins to creep up. First it effects mid-level executives involving managers and associates, and then begins to erode the morale of upper management.  This creates a company culture of stress throughout the organization.

Company leaders can reverse this by reaching out to workers and listening to their concerns, acting on the feedback and creating relationships based on trust.  Investing time and energy to create an environment of trust will foster creativity and innovation. This can help unleash a new and more vibrant company culture.

Stress not only has a personal impact on the individuals in a company, but it also has economic impact. Stress can cost companies up to $200 billion a year.  Fortune 500 companies have been able to avert this cost by engaging executive coaches to deal with work place stress and enhance productivity. Results have shown return on their investment was 1 to 6, that is for every dollar spent on creating a stress free environment, the company made six fold profits.