Organisational Stress Management

by ltconsulting on July 17, 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.

Quotations about stress

“I have taken the view that stress results when a person’s perceived or actual capabilities and resources are insufficient to meet the demands of the situation.”
J Cranwell-Ward

“Stress can either be stimulating (pressure) or harmful (strain)”
C. Handy

“….the most useful way to understand stress and what’s most important about it, is that it’s something that makes you physically or mentally ill.”
M. Lucas et al.

“Anxiety is to do with our fears and stress is to do with our reaction to pressure.”
M.Lawson

“Stress is what happens when we try too hard and too often to do the impossible.”
T. Lake

“Pressure is the aggregate of all the demands made upon you. Stress is your response to an inappropriate level of pressure. It is a response to pressure, not the pressure itself.”
T. Arroba and K. James

“Stress is an individual reaction. Stress can be fantastic. Or it can be fatal”
P. Hanson

“Stress is ‘dis-ease’, involving the whole personality.”
Arthur Young

Are you suffering from stress?

Try this stress-check quiz to see how well you deal with factors that cause stress. Please tick yes or no to each of the following questions:

  1. Can you say ‘no’ to friends and colleagues?
  2. Are you organised?
  3. Can you prioritise?
  4. Are you able to delegate?
  5. Do you enjoy a healthy balanced diet?
  6. Can you seek help when you need it?
  7. Do you have a low caffeine and alcohol consumption?
  8. Can you manage your time well?
  9. Are you able to be definite in your thinking and avoid uncertainties?
  10. Have you stopped or reduced smoking habits?
  11. Do you exercise regularly?
  12. Are you doing the most suitable job?
  13. Do you smile and laugh regularly?
  14. Are you aware of what stress is all about and what causes stress?
  15. Are you a positive thinker?
  16. Can you recognise the signs and symptoms of stress?
  17. Are you a positive thinker?
  18. Can you recognise the signs and symptoms of stress?
  19. Are you able to relax your mind and body regularly?
  20. Are you able to talk to people freely about your feelings?
  21. Are you in a good state of health?
  22. Do you feel secure and value yourself?

If you can you say ‘yes’ to most of the following statements, well done! You are well onto your way to conquering stress.

Is stress costing you money?

Stress isn’t something you can shake-off with a good night’s sleep. It can damage your health – and your business. Don’t let stress get in the way of success.

You might get sick

People who experience regular stress at work are up to five times more likely to fall sick than those who do not, according to research from the US. Stress accounts for six million working days lost annually in the UK. One in 13 of us have been to the doctor with a stress-related complaint.

Stress costs you money

According to the Institute of Personnel and Development, estimates of the annual cost of stress to British industry range from £5billion to £11billion. The costs to your company may show up in the form of high staff turnover, sick leave and absenteeism, premature retirement, reduced work performance, poor time keeping, reduced productivity.

You may be breaking the law

A recent high-profile case has highlighted the reason that employers must take stress seriously. A health authority was threatened with further action is it didn’t produce measures to decrease the stress its employees were encountering. Employers are required by law to ensure that employees aren’t made ill by their work, and these days that can include any illness brought on by excessive stress. Employers who don’t take stress seriously may leave themselves open to compensation claims from employees who have been made ill from work-related stress. Stress is an increasingly prevalent factor in workplace litigation, with many companies settling hefty claims out of court.

Stress can affect your home life

The culture of working longer hours, and increasing workloads is not only bad business practice, it is also damaging to people’s home lives, say experts. In two out of every three families in the UK both partners work. It can be no coincidence that Britain also has the highest divorce rate in Europe, or that in a recent survey, three-quarters of managers said that working pressures had damaged their personal relationships.

Stress costs British industry billions pounds a year so it makes sound business sense to ensure that you and your staff avoid excessive levels. Here’s how to spot if someone is really feeling the pressure.

A rise in staff sickness

Exposure to prolonged periods of stress can contribute to a wide variety of ailments, from ulcers and infections to depression and heart disease and stress is the second biggest reason for sick leave in the UK.

An increase in ‘absenteeism’

Every day in the UK around 270,000 people take time off because of ‘work-related illness’. If staff are disillusioned with their work because of rising pressures or a perceived lack of support, their low morale and de-motivation may well show up as an increase in absenteeism – especially frequent short spells of ‘sickness’.

Decreasing levels of performance and morale

Frequent lateness and a reduction in the quality and/or output of work can all be signs that stress is undermining someone’s morale. If a once-efficient member of staff constantly makes minor mistakes, it could be that the strain is beginning to tell. Also look out for deteriorating relationships with colleagues, mood swings, irritability or indecisiveness. All are signs that someone may be buckling under the pressure.

Disorganisation is on the increase

If your staff are no longer clearing away as they go along or keeping on top of their workloads, it could well be a sign that they feel under too much pressure. And, of course, a disordered workplace will only increase feelings of stress and low morale.

All work and no play

Sometimes, as a reaction to rising stress, workers start to spend consistently longer and longer hours on the job. It could also be a sign that someone is so stressed that they can no longer work effectively during normal working hours and have got into the habit of putting in extra hours or constantly taking work home to compensate.

Conflict increases

Poor work relationships between staff are another big cause of stress. Keep an eye out for bullying, racial or sexual harassment. Nip these issues in the bud wherever they emerge, and work on finding ways of making it understood that such behaviour cannot be tolerated.

Management induced stress

Much of the stress that employees feel comes straight from the top, relating directly to how they’re managed. An autocratic and inflexible management style can lead to staff feeling they have no control over their work, that they are blamed when things go wrong and that there is no support for them to develop their skills/career. Does this sound like your company? Start by listening to what your staff are saying and respecting their views.

Don’t ignore the signals

If an employee complains about being stressed – take it seriously. Firstly, it’s important to assess to what extent the problem is work-related. Try to address the source, and involve the employee in any decisions you make. If necessary, encourage a visit to the doctor. Bear in mind, too, that if one of your employees has work-related stress, the chances are that he or she is not the only one. In addition to listening to A.

A Practical Solution – What to look for in your department or organisation to spot stress

Two types of indicators allow you to assess the level of stress; quantitative indicators and qualitative indicators

Quantitative indicators are:

  • More grievances
  • Strikes and stoppages
  • More downtime
  • More absenteeism
  • More lateness
  • Higher sickness rates
  • High staff turnover

Qualitative indicators are:

  • Deteriorating relationships
  • Animosity
  • Distrust
  • Disrespect
  • Less effort
  • Less interpersonal contact

You need to look for changes over a short period of time, since these indicators may change over the years for other reasons, such as changes in the market structure. It may also be helpful to compare the results for your department with those of other departments in your organisation. In order to investigate possible stress at this level you need first to identify the sources of data available to you.

For each of the following, note down:

  • What records are available for the department/organisation
  • What measure you could use for comparison
  • What comparisons you could make through time, or with another department
  • What else could be causing changes, and any reservations you have about this data as a source of information on possible stress

For example: if absence and lateness is one of the indicators you are looking at your records may include; individual records and department records that will give you an indication of average hours lost per employee per week. From this you may compare these figures with another department e.g. the production department or with last year’s figures. You should also be aware of other factors such as seasonal variations and/or current market conditions.

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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