|Stress Management Information|
Overcome the Top 10 Causes of Workplace Stress
Workplace stress is on the rise and it's costing corporate America a fortune. Some estimate that 80% of health care costs are stress related, and these expenses go right to the bottom line.
According to CNN-Money.com, Americans spent more than $17 billion for anti-depressants and anti- anxiety drugs in 2002, up 10% from the year before and nearly 30% over a two year period.
The Institute for Management Excellence reports that American industry spends more than $26 billion each year for medical bills and disability payments with another $10 billion for executive's lost workdays, hospitalization, and early death.
In addition to these staggering figures, stress takes its toll through the added costs of quality control, legal challenges, lost opportunities, poor performance, bad attitudes, and training.
We cannot do much about the skyrocketing costs of medical care and prescription drugs, but we can take immediate action to control the top ten causes of stress as identified by The Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health.
The countdown is:
10. "Workload" ? Employees report that they are often stressed when they have too little or too much to do. Managers need to divide responsibilities and help employees prioritize work that must be done. Make sure you understand the impact before shifting responsibilities. Take into account the cost of stress before you increase anyone's workload or hire more people.
9. "Random interruptions" - Telephones, pagers, walk-in visits, and spontaneous demands from supervisors all contribute to increased stress. Time management, delegation of responsibilities, and clarification of expectations can reduce these stressors. 8. "Pervasive uncertainty" ? Stress levels increase rapidly when people are confronted by new requirements and procedures. Keeping people informed controls stress and increases productivity. Put details in a memo so they can review the facts following your explanations.
7. "Mistrust and unfairness" - These situations keep everyone on edge, create bad attitudes, and lower productivity. It is important to keep an open line of communication to avoid misunderstanding and know what people are thinking about your decisions. Managers must consistently build trust and give equal treatment - just do the right thing.
6. "Unclear policies and no sense of direction" - Lack of focus causes uncertainty and undermines confidence in management. You need more than a well-written policy manual. Enforcement of policies and clear communications are essential.
To make sure everyone gets the message, you can repeat your explanation in a variety of ways ? repetition and feedback are important. Reinforce policies through memos, articles, bulletin board postings, personal meetings, and small group discussions.
5. "Career and job ambiguity" - If people are uncertain about their jobs and careers, there is a feeling of helplessness and of being out of control. In addition to the trusted job descriptions and annual personnel reviews, people need to understand a broad range of issues that affect the company.
News of mergers, consolidations, plant closings, and restructuring contribute to a feeling of helplessness. Management must keep people informed about situations that will affect their jobs, or the rumor mill will add to an already stressful situation.
4. "No feedback - good or bad" ? People want to know whether they are meeting expectations. Consistent, written and verbal, personalized feedback is required. Some people need more attention than others, but everyone's performance is enhanced if leaders frequently affirm individual efforts.
3. "No appreciation" - Failure to show appreciation generates stress that endangers productivity throughout the company. There are many ways to demonstrate appreciation, but the most effective is a sincere comment about how much the person means to you and the company.
2. "Lack of communications" - Poor communication leads to decreased performance and increased stress. Management memos and announcements work well for distributing information, but two-way conversation improves communication and solicits ideas and suggestions while reducing stress and complaints.
1. "Lack of control" ? Workplace stress is at its greatest when employees have no say regarding things that affect them. You can decrease sensitivity to all the other stressors and give a sense of being in control by involving employees in operating and administrative decisions and acting on their input. Frontline employees know what they are talking about. Listening to what they have to say reduces stress and increases productivity.
Effective managers understand that stress control is a leadership responsibility and give it just as much attention as any other management function. For those who want to explore stress control further, a free 3-session e-course is available by email request at email@example.com
Grasping the concepts and reducing stress one step at a time can have an amazing impact on your bottom line --and on the lives of those who do the heavy work.
Dale Collie - professional speaker, former US Army Ranger, CEO, and a Fast Company top 50 innovative leader. Author of "Winning Under Fire." (McGraw-Hill) firstname.lastname@example.org
Stress Management and Mastery: 3 Tools You Can Use
Q:We recently had someone come to our company to talk about stress management. All he did was talk about the physical results of stress and tell us we need to not be so stressed and to relax. It really wasn't very helpful, and I was wondering if you could offer some tips on how to handle stress.
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We all know what it's like coming home from a busy day and needing some fast relaxation and stress relief. Many people choose to reach for that quick drink; but why not soak your stresses away? One of the best ways you can sit outside and enjoy the backyard is to install a hot tub and let the water bring relief from stresses and strains of the day. Ancient civilizations realized the healing power of natural hot and cold springs. The Romans built baths because they believed in the value of hot springs. Hippocrates prescribed bathing and drinking spring water for its therapeutic effects in the 4th century B.C. Water healing or hydrotherapy has been used effectively in Europe for thousands of years. There are numerous water healing facilities available. Hydrotherapy is one of the oldest, inexpensive and safest methods for treating many common problems and bringing stress relief.
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Children Playing - How Play Is Important To Kids And Adults
You can learn a lot by watching children playing. There is no greater sight than to see children pretending to be superheroes or digging for treasure in a sandbox. To hear the laughter and see a child's excitement can bring a smile to any adult's face. An important part of a child's development is through play. A child's problem solving skills are developed through play. Children are able to work on relationships, build self-esteem and decrease their anger. In the course of a child's life adults usually teach children, but on the playground children can teach adults how to have fun. Unfortunately, some children had to grow up so fast that they never had the experience of play. When this happens, they often miss out on a healthy part of their development. These children often grow up to be adults who are more angry and depressed. Whether you are an adult who missed out on play as a child or an adult who lost site of the importance of play, take the time out of your busy day to watch children playing. By watching children play you can regain some of that fun, enabling you to see how carefree and fun life should be. To incorporate play in your life, think back to your childhood. * What did you do for fun? * Did you experience play or did you observe children playing? * Ask yourself how you can bring play into your adult life? If you are having difficulty in your life and are in need of a break just take the time out of your busy unrelenting day to watch children play. If you feel comfortable doing so, join in the fun. The stresses and strains of your daily life will just slip away.
How To Use Diet To Reduce Your Stress
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Ten Tips to Ward Off Stress at the Office
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Are YOU Controlling Stress So Stress Does Not Control YOU?
Have you recently moved or started a new job? Do you feel you have too much to do and not enough time to do them? Do you worry about your financial situation? Do you worry about your future? Do you feel your efforts at work or at home go unappreciated?
* The material presented in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or prevent any illness.
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