“Stress is when you wake up screaming and you realise you haven’t fallen asleep yet.” ~ Unknown
MANAGING YOUR OWN STRESS
The workplace is acknowledged as being the source of most stress for managers. No matter how hard you try, you may not always be able to avoid feeling stressed. However, you could consider the following in an attempt to reduce your own stress and help your employees with theirs.
CREATE A PLEASANT WORK ENVIRONMENT
You can make your workplace more appealing by the addition of flowers, photos of friends and family and art pieces.
Let others know how you feel about certain issues that are important to you. Don’t let others walk over you. Being assertive is better than being aggressive or submissive.
Feel sufficiently confident in your skills to express your own opinions and concerns. Expressing your opinion is your right – so exercise it.
BE IN CONTROL
There is no rule that says you have to be available for everyone and that you cannot say no to any request. Not all people work better under stress. You are the person driving your own bus – take charge of the controls.
SET REALISTIC DEADLINES
Make a fair assessment of each task at hand. Draw up your action plan to achieve it.
ESTABLISH PERSONAL GOALS
Take into account family and personal well-being as well as the work context when setting goals. Remember, you are judged on the work you complete, not the quantity you take on.
Setting goals and making plans puts order into your life. Personal, career and money goals are important aspects of your life, so plan them carefully. Remember to make sure that your goals are balanced.
Don’t attempt to do everything at once. Remember you can eat an elephant one steak at a time. When you have various tasks, prioritise them as part of your action plan.
MANAGE YOUR TIME
There are only a limited number of hours in a day. Use the existing hours more effectively. Effective time management is a must if you want to avoid stress.
BE SELECTIVE ABOUT WHAT YOU TAKE ON
Learn to discern what is worth being competitive about and what isn’t. Concentrate on winning the things that really matter.
MANAGING STRESS IN OTHERS
BUILD IN VARIETY
Variety is the spice of life. Whenever possible, have your staff switch assignment, projects and departments to find new challenges and a fresh environment, thereby combating boredom and encouraging personal development.
COMMUNICATE WITH EACH STAFF MEMBER
Keep everyone informed of changes, regardless of how small they seem to you. Where possible, schedule “tea for two” meetings with all the employees in your office on a regular basis. This breaks down barriers between management and staff. Communication plays a very important role in trust, team spirit and a healthy atmosphere.
INVOLVE STAFF IN DECISION MAKING
Investigate ways of involving your staff in the decision-making process. This will remove the “us” and “them” perception.
RELEASE THE PRESSURE
Sometimes we apply too much pressure on our staff to satisfy our own philosophy, values and ambitions. Try cutting back by organising quarterly staff appreciation functions, whether it be a braai at the office, a fun activity such as zip-lining or just letting them leave early.
To promote personal growth, remind the staff that what they are doing is right and valuable to the organisation. Don’t forget to also show your appreciation – your staff is the most valuable asset a company has.
PROMOTE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL WELL-BEING
A healthy body promotes a healthy mind. Investigate the needs of the employees and the availability of nutritious foods, sports club and so on. Host an Employee Wellness Day at your offices, inviting various health practitioners to be part of the day.