We live in a fast paced world now. News and information can be sent at a moment’s notice and the world is at our mercy compared to several decades ago. It’s showing more and more that we (as humans) have not been evolved to cope with this pressure mentally. Even something as simple as slow internet is enough to get blood pressures rising. Imagine a life before smart phones and pads!!! Add into the mix the work pressure we have, all clients want work completed for yesterday, pressure of losing work. You have yourself a massive NATION wide problem.
Each sector of industry has its issues, some more bespoke than others. However, every sector has stress as a concern. Even if you are self-employed or a director, stress effects everyone and all in different ways.
Apart from the hectic life styles and fast information, we ourselves do not help with an overall lack of sympathy towards stress issues. The common quote from many is “Stress? Stress? They don’t know the meaning of stress!”. Many do not recognise stress as a serious issue.
I myself suffered with stress issues (only on a mild scale). Several years ago I woke early on a Monday morning (02.00am) in immense pain in the stomach, so bad I couldn’t hardly stand up. I spent several days in hospital undergoing tests and examinations only to be told I was suffering with stress. Oddly, I have been to conflict areas in my previous employment and could with stand the mental pressure of military operational situations, but what caused my stress was my home life. I could deal with issues I was trained and expected to carry out but I could not deal with the issues of fatherhood & family pressure (money, car, health etc.) which I had no preparation for.
Stress can cause changes in those experiencing it. In some cases there are clear signs that people are experiencing stress at work and if these can be identified early, action can be taken before the pressure becomes a problem. This may make it easier to reduce and eliminate the causes.
It is important that everyone looks out for changes in a person’s or a group’s behaviour. However, in many cases the changes may only be noticeable to the person subject to the stress and so it is also important to look at how you are feeling and try to identify any potential issues you may have as early as possible and take positive action to address them; this may be raising the matter with a line manager, talking to an occupational health professional or your own GP. You all know your staff well and can note, (if you take the time), when there has been a change in the behaviour in them. Things like looking tired, acting irritated, drop in hygiene standards and poor punctuality, all are tell tell signs of a member of your team feeling the pressure and started to feel stressed.
However, you should be proactive in trying to prevent stress occurring in the first place. Ensure your staff have been made aware of the issues and make the topic of stress an importance by giving staff the support they need to solve issues. Need help to get that support, call us to discuss issues.
I will blog again soon.