Good Grief! Why are we hearing so much about stress?
Managers are in a tough position when it comes to stress. You have a job to do and you need to do it with the help of other people. But why is everyone so stressed and what do you do to help others get the job done?
First, there are major trends that indicate that being overwhelmed by stress is the new normal. What’s happened?
1. Employees are still recovering from a terrible recession and many people are living paycheck to paycheck. Juggling bills creates worry and financial strain.
2. The technology boom has taken away much of our downtime. What happened to the days when we would get recharged outdoors or just sit quietly?
3. Technology has also blurred the lines between work and home, adding to work life balance issues. Most of us have to be very disciplined to find any time where we are “unplugged.”
4. There are more two income families than ever before in history and that leads to work life balance issues.
5. Parents are under terrible pressure. Children are involved in more school and sports-related activities than in the last generation and this puts excess pressure on parents.
So, what can managers do? First things first. The most important thing is to look at your own situation and take care of yourself. You really can’t be helpful to employees if you are over committed or highly stressed. Employees can observe how you are handling stress and whether you are taking care of yourself. Think about what you need to feel healthier and you will set the stage for others to follow.
Once your stress level is down, you are in a better position to help others. As always, refer anyone about whom you have concerns to the EAP.
What’s stressful in your life? Talking to someone usually helps.