The best ways to prevent stress

Everybody suffers from stress at some time.   Stress cannot wholly be omitted at work.  Work patterns are changing.  The working day is no longer a standard 9-5. Job roles have become more flexible and more complex.   Not all stress is bad, sometimes we can actually benefit from a certain level of pressure. This added pressure can help motivate us. However, this is about as good as it will get. When stress gets out of hand, not only can it affect productivity, but also professional working relationships. It’s really vital that leaders attempt to find effective ways to prevent stress.

So what are the best ways which help to prevent stress? Some of the responsibility falls down to the employees, however, there are some effective principles which managers should adopt, in order to combat stress.

Effective principles to adopt to prevent stress

There are six principles which management can incorporate pointing to ways to prevent stress. These principles can be used across the board amongst all levels of staff.

1. Relationships

Whilst in a working environment, everything should be kept professional and appropriate. For managers, trying to promote a positive atmosphere is essentially removing negativity.

2. Demands

Overloading employees is one of the most common causes of stress. It might seem fairly obvious, but often more experienced members of staff can demote work putting too much stress on less experienced staff members. Staff need achievable goals, as a target to aim for.

3. Role

An employee needs to know exactly what his duties are and when certain objectives need to be accomplished. The company has to be able to fully explain exactly what responsibilities of the role are. Additional responsibilities cannot be handed out on a whim to take advantage of the staff.

4. Control

All managers need to communicate well with their staff and remain in control. Denoting a certain level of control to staff can help them flourish. Giving staff an opportunity to manage their own workload shows that you have faith and might just take some pressure off employees.

5. Change

Change is inevitable in any developing positon. But any changes to an employee’s role must be clearly established, with help, training and support offered along the way.

6. Support

This is perhaps the most important principle to include. Every employee no matter how senior needs to be offered help. All staff should be given the necessary resources to fulfil their role. Constant communication is perhaps the best way to tackle this.

Stress has been a problem for workers over the past decade, huge amounts of working days have been missed. Of all work-related ill health, a massive 35% was stress-related, with 43% of all registered sick days down to stress. That equates to a staggering total of 440,000 stress cases, which averages to a rate of 1,280 per 100,000 employees. These statistics have were reported in 2014/15 but have been fairly consistent for the past decade. A staggering 9.9 million working days were missed down to stress.

What can employees do?

One of the biggest problems with stress is that sometimes you don’t even know it’s happening.   Stopping stress on your own can be extremely difficult. Having a company and specifically, a manager who wants to prevent stress is what you need to perform at your maximum potential. The simplest way to stay on top of this is communication. Constantly talking to the whole workforce is the best way to stay up to date with problems and just how people are coping.

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Marco is a digital marketing executive and freelance writer. At the moment he’s working with Activia Training, a training provider agency that focuses on delivering training in Software & IT, Management and Staff Development for entrepreneurs who are looking for improving their productivity or expanding their businesses.