Managing Stress

by ltconsulting on September 26, 2011

We provide training courses for managing stress, handling stress, reducing stress, in fact all work related stress issues.  Over the years we have trained thousands of people to enable them to recognise stress symptoms and causes and have given them stress management tips and techniques to enable them to identify the signs of stress and to beat and avoid it.  Our courses have a proven track record in stress reduction and managing stress at work.

“There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” – Henry Kissinger

Many of us can empathise with this quote. We are all living and working in a fast-paced society and for many of us day-to-day work (and life stress) is quite normal. The reality is that every job comes with responsibilities, people are often competitive and pushy and jobs are no longer for life. No matter where you work and for whom, work can be stressful.

When questioned, many of us will admit to regularly working more then our contracted hours, from working late, working through lunch and at weekends. This is one of the main reasons of work related stress – too much to do, too little time!

Although long hours can be counter-productive, many people still feel that being the last to leave the office is going to enhance their job prospects. What many of us neglect to realise is, that past a certain point most of us have very little left to give and are experiencing mini-burnouts, where we become forgetful and slightly clumsy, e.g. spilling your drink over the report that you have just spent hours drafting.

The longer you stay at the office, the less time you give to your personal life. Thus you are neglecting the all important work-life balance – all work and no play makes Jack a dull (or just very tired) boy!

It’s a vicious cycle. But it is one that a few pioneering and progressive employers are now striving to break. Read on to find out what some of Britain’s largest corporations are doing to combat the stress relating to long-work-day culture:

flexible working: Banking company Lloyds TSB recently introduced a work options policy, which gives its employees more choice over working patterns. Staff can now opt for job shares, shorter working weeks and teleworking. The company has recognised that a burnt-out workforce is an unproductive workforce.

A holistic approach: At What If!, a London-based inventing consultancy, stress in the workplace is minimised by creating a fun and supportive working environment that emphasises the idea of staff bringing their ‘whole self’ to work. Each employee has a mentor, usually their manager, with whom they can discuss work as well as any domestic sources of stress.

stop what you’re doing and go home: At PricewaterhouseCoopers, the biggest provider of professional services in the UK, employees’ timesheets are now examined to identify staff who spend too long at work. Although, they concede that some people enjoy working long hours, for others, long hours may be very stressful and they are working with the individuals concerned to address this. ‘The company also runs two-day survival clinics in which employees undergo health screening and are given practical tips to reduce stress.

managing the stress: Building society Nationwide offers its employees a helpline to discuss work-related stress issues and other problems. The service is available to family members too. Face-to-face counselling is available for all staff across the UK if required.

stress-busting with a tea-break: ASM chair Peter Goodwin explains the rationale. ‘Once stress sets in in a major way a company starts to have serious problems with absenteeism, which costs the company. By offering these sessions, we’ve seen absenteeism fall by 50%, for the price of a cup of coffee per employee. ‘One of the key features of the stress sessions is self-hypnosis. Individuals are taught how to calm themselves down when they start to feel stressed.

LEARN TO COMBAT YOUR OWN WORKPLACE STRESS

Your own workplace may already provide some kind of support aimed at preventing stress or to help staff manage their stress. You should check with your personnel department, occupational health department or speak to your manager for further details.

If you work for a company or organisation which offers little to help employees cope with stress, it is worth speaking to some of your colleagues to find out whether others are suffering similar symptoms. If so, you might jointly, or through your trade union, talk to your personnel department about tackling the causes of stress and introducing some initiatives to help staff cope.

TOP TIPS TO BUST THAT STRESS:

  • Learn to manage interruptions such as unsolicited calls and personal visitors – be brief on the phone and don’t get caught up in office banter.
  • Consider what tasks can be delegates, or whether a colleague with a lesser workload can help with some of your tasks
  • Learn t be assertive and to say ‘no’ to new tasks
  • Be honest, and speak to a colleague – they might be able to help
  • Develop a routine of taking breaks – 5 minutes fresh air can revitalise
  • Don’t allow your growing workload to affect the task in hand – you are not superhuman and cannot do 10 things at once, no matter how you would like to!
  • Take 30 minutes of your day to clear your desk and file what is necessary – releasing the build-up of paperwork can often help.
  • Prioritise the really important tasks – complete those with a nearing deadline; try not to get caught up in menial tasks which often distract, i.e. reading emails.

Remember also to ask for support when you need it and aim to keep work in perspective. Nobody ever looks back on life and wishes they had spent more time in the office.

how stress can affect organisations

  • more mistakes
  • increased customer complaints
  • increased referring of problems onto others to sort out
  • staff being less prepared to tolerate uncertainty
  • staff less caring about customer complaints
  • staff less inclined to listen and empathise
  • chaotic systems
  • high levels of staff burn-out.

what employers can do to reduce stress

  • investigate stress levels and their likely causes
  • make sure individuals are well matched to their jobs
  • set clearly defined objectives for staff
  • provide training in interpersonal skills
  • have proper procedures for investigating complaints
  • introduce flexible working hours
  • provide opportunities for staff to contribute ideas
  • provide support for staff experiencing high stress levels
  • encourage shorter hours.

Why choose Total Success for your training?

  • our lead trainers have over 18 years experience in training
  • a maximum of 8 delegates means more time spent on individual needs
  • we guarantee to run the course and will never cancel at the last moment
  • free subscription to our monthly training newsletter

All open courses are trained in Central London at the St Giles Hotel.

Each delegate receives a comprehensive training workbook that doubles as an open course manual. Courses run from 9.30-5.30 with lunch and refreshments provided.

In-Company Courses

Total Success have developed a series of in-house training modules. These are designed so that an organisation can pick the training which is more applicable to its own needs and budget. Please call us to discuss your specific requirements.

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