workplace stress

The four surprising things about workplace stress

workplace stress

There is – quite rightly – a lot of information around concerning stress in the workplace. Our jobs can be one of the major causes of stress, or can exacerbate the stressful situations we are experiencing in our home and private lives.

But are we approaching stress at work in the right way? There’s certainly a lot of advice for businesses, but as HR professionals, we’ve got four surprising facts about stress that might help you to plan better from the very beginning. Better planning means reduced risk, and that puts you and your people in a much healthier position from the outset.

Fact 1: Work pressure causes stress

Stress is often caused by external factors. At work, that means your organisation could be responsible for the stress people feel when they are under particular pressure. Look at the way you manage high pressure situations, and they way you support people through these times. Remember that while some people thrive under pressure, others find it very stressful, so be more aware of the individuals in your team and how they react in these circumstances.

Fact 2: Poor organisation is stressful

Your people need to know what is expected of them, who they are reporting to, and where their place is within the organisation. This is down to you. Think of the three ‘R’s – Role, Responsibilities and Reporting. By making all these things clear, you are giving your employees clear guidance, boundaries and understanding of where they fit into your organisation. This automatically improves wellbeing.

Fact 3: It’s stressful to feel unsupported

Good leaders support their people. Not just when they are obviously stressed, but all the time. Putting in place regular reviews, and ensuring you catch up with individuals informally gives you a better insight into how your team is feeling, and gives you a heads-up when someone may start struggling. Supporting your people is vital to positive collaboration and better productivity.

Fact 4: Good HR planning can reduce stress

If you have clear policies in place and you communicate them well, your people will feel confident about their role, understand the culture of the company and feel better supported in their work. Sudden policy announcements, poor management of disciplinary issues, negative communications and an assumption that the employee is always wrong are commonplace – and they create stress.

In turn, stress reduces productivity, damages teams, increases staff turnover and bruises your brand reputation. If you get your HR and leadership priorities right, you can run a much happier and more productive organisation – and you will automatically be in a position to help your employees manage stress when it occurs.

If you’d like any support or advice on how to manage fundamental HR policies and procedures to manage stress in your organisation, contact us today.