Stress Management in the Workplace What I Learned about Stress Management and How to Manage the Stress in the Workplace Johnny Redone MGT 301 – CL01 Elizabeth Woodard April 24, 2012 It is three o’clock on a Friday, and it will be three-day weekend and you plan on going to a vacation resort with your family when your supervisor comes into your office and tells you that they have an emergency project and that you and your team need to come in over the weekend and work on this project that is due first thing when the weekend is over.
As the supervisor, it is your job to take that news to your team and tell them that information. Obviously this will cause stress on you, your family, and team. It will cause stress on your family because this was a planned tripped and they were looking forward to going on the trip. It will cause stress on your team because this is a last minute notice and your team may have plans for the three-day weekend.
It will cause stress for you because you have to tell the bad news to your family and your team. Hopefully that stress will not over take you and cause any hardship on your physical and mental being. People spend a lot of time at work, whether it is to do the normal day-to-day work, overtime, or just spending some extra time just to catch up. The time that is spent at work is not normally care-free or easy, but can cause some work anxiety which in turn can cause stress.
Stress can be mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression. Though stress is generally know as a bad condition, stress is important in giving signs that a person may be overexerting themselves and may be causing a medically condition, but without stress, people would not know when they are causing aversive or disruption actions to their being.
There are many signs that can be seen when a person is stressed, whether it is physical, psychosocial, or behavioral. Murphy (1995) states that there are categories of job stressors and that could be contributed by factors that are unique to the job, a person’s role in the organization, a person’s career development, impersonal relationships, and how the organization is structured. In today’s work environment, people are required to do more with less and that can cause situations that can be stressful.
Stress management in the workplace is something that everyone needs to learn, how to measure that stress in the workplace, and learn how to cope with stress in the workplace. According to the Right Health website, “Stress management involves controlling and reducing the tension that occurs in stressful situations by making emotional and physical changes. The degree of stress and the desire to make the changes will determine how much change takes place. ” (Information section, Para. 3). Stress management is more than ever important in the workplace.
On a normal basis, a supervisor can be bombarded with many tasks over a normal workday and as a supervisor, it is their responsibility to manage all those tasks and ensure that each one is completed within the allotted timeframe. A supervisor is not the only person who can suffer from stress in the workplace; a worker within the job can also experience that stress from the duties that they normally work throughout the day or a new tasking that they may receive throughout the day. People need to learn what can cause that stress and what they need to do to manage that stress.
Recognizing what causes stress within the workplace is the first step in managing There are many stressors in the workplace that people need to recognize in order to correct manage their stress. One of the most common job-related stress is the stress that a person can incur from a deadline that a person receives from their supervisor. When a person gets a deadline, the deadline helps a person meet the goals that are needed to accomplish the task that has been given to the person. If not managed well, the deadline can cause great stress and put undue pressure on a person. Procrastination is the enemy of a deadline.
If a person continues to put a project aside and decides that there are more important tasking that need to be worked instead of the other project, they may miss their deadline. Time management can help alleviate the stress of the deadline. Another stressor in the workplace is pressure from a person’s supervisor. The pressure a person receives from their supervisor may be from job performance and as mentioned above, deadlines. A person’s supervisor is the person who monitors that person’s work progress and ensures the tasking that are given to the person are completed within the allotted timeframe.
Depending on the relationship of the worker and the supervisor, hopefully the supervisor recognizes the the stress that the tasking is being put upon the worker and advises the worker to either take a break or take their time to alleviate the worker’s stress. One of the last and probably biggest stressors from a workplace is stress that a worker receives from co-workers. Whether it is direct or indirect, the interaction that a worker has with their co-workers can some stress.
The direct stress that a worker can receive from a co-worker can be non-responsiveness to tasking, the punctuality of the the co-worker, and the lack of courtesy that is given to each other. Indirect stress could be the attitudes of the co-workers that a worker could receive from each other. When a team is put together to do a tasking, it is important that team has good communication between each of the the team members, if there is no communication then there is no way for the team members know if the tasking is being properly accomplished.
The non-communication can cause undue stress on the team when just a statement declaring the work is being completed cause alleviate the stress for the team. Punctuality is important and when a worker or supervisor is waiting on another worker, it can cause some anxiety for the other worker or supervisor. No one likes to be late, everyone’s time is important and no one likes that feeling with waiting for someone, it can cause some anxiety. The last direct stressor that a person can receive from their co-workers is lack of overall courtesy that a worker receives from a co-worker.
Common courtesy goes a long way when people interact with each other. If a person does not receive the courtesy that is deserved by all people, that can cause undue stress to a person. People are emotionally beings and when put in a situation that is hostile or unsociable, people have the tendency to have their stress increase. To be polite and “do onto others as you would do unto you” goes a long way in the workplace. Indirect stress from co-workers can be just as important to monitor as the direct stress that is received from the co-workers.
Indirect stress is basically the non-interaction between the work and the co-workers. It normally does not involve the tasking that are given or even the daily work that is done, but it is basically the moral of the workers. The workplace is a social environment and workers will talk to each other, encourage each other, and assistance each other with the tasking given. One item of indirect stress that is given from co-worker is the non-interaction that is not given from other co-workers; the lack of communication may possibly cause stress for the worker and a non-desire to work because of the non-interaction.
Another item of indirect stress is the usage of team building exercises and un-necessary meetings. Workers know that tasking have to be done in the allotted timeframe and sometimes those team building exercises and un-necessary meetings are obtrusive to the work that needs to be done and cause undue stress. Indirect stress is important to recognize because a worker may not aware indirect stress as they would be to direct stress. With the ability to recognize stress, whether it is direct or indirect, workers will be aware that stress is something that is not easy to eliminate.
According to the Reference for Business website, “Specialists actually define two forms of stress, which may be loosely termed positive stress and negative stress. The difference is based largely on individuals’ perceptions of the stressor, the situation causing stress. Some workers find certain kinds of stress exhilarating, such as working toward a goal or performing tasks that have some intrinsic reward to them. In other cases, stress looms over workers as a burden of demands, pressures, unreasonable expectations, conflict, and ill-treatment. Stress should not be looked upon as a negative, but it should be seen as a way to gauge how much effort to be put into whatever tasking that is given. A person needs to be aware and learn how to measure the stress the worker is experiencing while they are in their workplace. If a worker is experiencing too much stress, then the worker needs to know the signs that contribute to that stress and try to learn how to either lower that tasking that is giving them the stress or get the assistance they need to lower that stress.
By measuring the stress that a person may have in the workplace, a person can build a plan to reduce that stress to a manageable level. There are a couple of easy ways to measure a worker’s stress level at your workplace. The best way to identify stress in the workplace is for a person to know their body. A person can measure their stress by checking their muscle tension. If the tension in the person’s muscles are tight, then can cause undue stress on a person. Another indicator of stress is rapid and shallow breathing. When a person is relaxed, a person will breath slowly and deeply with relaxed muscles.
When a person is tense, the stomach will tighten and cause the person to breathe through their chest which would cause the breathing to be rapid and shallow. “While stress markers themselves are common outcome measures, the ultimate goal in stress research is to determine the relationships between stress and health or stress and adaptation. ” (Ice and James, 2007, p. 4). Stress markers are an important way for a person to measure a person’s stress and to determine whether that stress is something that needs to be lowered for health reasons or if that stress needs to adapted to the tasking that is needing to be accomplished.
With the knowledge of the measurement of stress, a person can be able to determine what steps a person would need to take in order to take care of the stress. A person will receive some kind of stress, whether it is minimal or major, it all depends on how a person handles that stress especially in the workplace. Once person learns how to recognize and measure the stress that a person may receive in the workplace, a person needs to know how to cope with the stress that they are dealing within the workplace.
Coping with stress in the workplace generally comes down to three different areas – taking responsibility for the stress a person receives, avoiding the pitfalls that involve stress in the workplace, and learning strategies for managing stress in the workplace. Responsibility is important, especially when dealing with stress in the workplace. According to the Department of Labor of New Zealand website, a person can take responsibility of their stress by working with their supervisors by working on way to prevent and resolve any issues that arise that could cause stress (p. 5). By accepting responsibility of any stress that can be created in the workplace, a person is closer to lowering their stress levels in the workplace. Even though stress may be received from a workplace, a person cannot easily avoid some stress. Identifying the stress and working a solution to reduce the stress within the parameters of the work environment is taking responsibility of yourself and knowing that the stress can be reduced because you took the initiative to reduce that stressor.
A person needs to know that person is responsible for that person’s stress and if that person knows that it is that person’s responsibility and that person just needs to know how to avoid the pitfalls that involve stress in the workplace. Avoiding pitfalls will help a person to manage the stress that a person would receive in the workplace. A pitfall is unapparent source of trouble or danger; by knowing some of the pitfalls that a person can “fall into”, a person can help themselves alleviate the stress that may be received if the person did “fall into” the pitfall.
A person can identify pitfalls by identifying the situations that raise a person’s stress levels. There a number of events that can take place that increase your stress levels. According to Segal (2008), “When people feel overwhelmed, they lose confidence and become irritable or withdrawn, making them less productive and effective and their work less rewarding. If the warning signs of work stress go unattended, they can lead to bigger problems. Beyond interfering with job performance and satisfaction, chronic or intense stress can also lead to physical and emotional health problems. (Segal, 2008, “How to Reduce and Manage Job and Workplace Stress”, Para. 3) People need to identify those situations that could lead to increased stress and help themselves and others to reduce those events that can lead to higher stress levels. Some common stress management pitfalls would be poor time management, poor communication skills, lack of ability, and concentration. The pitfalls that were just listed are just some common types and there are more pitfalls that could stress. With knowledge of those pitfalls, a person just needs to know some strategies for managing stress in the workplace.
By knowing some strategies for managing stress in the workplace, the situation for a person will be better and the pressure the person feels while the person is at work should be less. A person should do the things that that the person knows that will relax and put that person at ease as they do the jobs and duties at that person’s workplace. According to Hansen (2010), there are ten strategies that a person can do to cope with stress at the workplace, but only four of those strategies will be discussed. One the strategies was to put the job in perspective; know what is important in the job and know what a person wants out of it.
Is job important enough to put ahead of family, friends, or health? By keeping the picture of how a person wants things to be in a person’s life, a person can easily figure out what is important and what is not. Another strategy was to fight the clutter. By being organized and knowing where everything is located, a person can help keep their stress levels down. The last strategy and maybe the most important, maintain a positive attitude. By maintaining a positive attitude, that gives motivation to a person to move forward and since positive attitude are normally contiguous, other people may get a positive attitude.
Having a positive attitude will help with the stress management in your workplace by giving a person a sense that everything will okay and that anything that does come by the person’s way, it will be handled. Stress management is important. By learning about stress management, how to measure that stress in the workplace, and learn how to cope with stress in the workplace, it is hoped that a person learns that stress management needs to be learned. People are working together and trying to figure out how to the work without making more work out of nothing.
Stress is not going away and work may not get easier, but by learning to manage the stress that a person receives in the workplace, it may be more enjoyable. Stress in the Workplace. (2010). Retrieved from http://www. referenceforbusiness. com/encyclopedia/Str-The/Stress-in-the-Workplace. html What is Stress Management. (2008). Retrieved from http://www. righthealth. com/topic/What_Is_Stress_Management/overview/adam20 Ice, G. , & James, G. (2007). Measuring stress in humans: a practical guide for the field. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Murphy, L. R. (1995).
Occupational Stress Management: Current Status and Future Direction. in Trends in Organizational Behavior, Vol. 2. , p. 1-14 Healthy Work: Managing Stress in the Workplace. Retrieved from http://www. osh. dol. govt. nz/order/catalogue/stress/managestress. pdf Jeanne Segal, Ph. D. (2008). How to Reduce and Manage Job and Workplace Stress. Retrieved from http://helpguide. org/mental/work_stress_management. htm Randall S. Hansen, Ph. D. (2010). Managing Job Stress: 10 Strategies for Coping and Thriving at Work. Retrieved from http://www. quintcareers. com/managing_job_stress. html
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Stress Management in the Workplace. (2016, Oct 15). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/stress-management-in-the-workplace/