Organizations of all types are increasingly concerned about their employees and are taking action in record numbers. Corporate wellness programs, mandatory vacation time and other methods are being employed as evidence of their corporate consciousness continues to grow. In this issue of PI, CEO and founder Jerry Houston, tackles the issue of stress in the workplace and the impact it plays on overall wellness and productivity in the workplace.

Stress is a natural part of the human condition, and it can be a positive and motivating force…if it is managed correctly. Before discussing how we deal with stress, let’s take a minute to identify what creates stress in the workplace.

  • Poor Communication -misunderstandings, dealing with issues over e-mail, arguments over workloads, etc. can be very stressful to the team.
  • The Boss – when the manager is out of control and stressed, so is the team. Unclear instructions, unrealistic demands, a lack of respect for employees and a “do as I say” attitude can lead to major stress.
  • Trust – Number One for me. When employees do not trust their management, each other, or the company as a whole an enormous amount of stress is created.
  • Vision, Mission, Core Values. -In the absence of these foundational ideas, anything goes! Where are we going, how are we getting there and what we stand for are critical to reducing stress at all levels.

So what do we do?

  • Have open and honest, two-way communications at all levels.
  • Provide leadership development for all of your leaders on an ongoing basis. Do not tolerate behavior from leaders that is not consistent with who you are as an organization.
  • Build trust by being consistent, honest and open with your team. Model the behaviors you seek. Trust to be trusted.
  • ESTABLISH CLEAR VISION, MISSION AND VALUES WITH YOUR TEAM to ensure ownership by all. Hold yourself and others accountable.

Finally, do you know what stress levels exist in your organization?

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