Stress Management: Supporting Individuals In The Team

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As individuals interact with the workplace environment, there occur situations where one cannot cope with associated demands and pressures. Besides affecting one’s physical and emotional health, the stress in the workplace can undermine one’s productivity hence harming the organization. The high incidence of workplace stress necessitates research into causes of stress and how the individual and the organization can contribute to stress management. Investing in stress management is important since the productivity of human resources is key to a firm’s success.

Managing Stress

As an intern at XYZ organization, I experienced several overwhelming situations. Most of it was caused by my inexperience in workplace dynamics. Within a few weeks, however, I was conversant with workplace activities and could work comfortably with minimal supervision. My colleague, Peter’s, situation resonates when it comes to workplace stress. Peter was a middle manager at XYZ organization. He had worked hard to achieve the position after six years at the company. For Peter, promotion to a management role was critical to his ideal career development path. At last, he could be involved in strategic planning and help implement strategies that would drive the firm to the future. However, within months of his promotion, Peter started having doubts regarding his new job. As the link between executive management and employees, he regularly found himself in the middle of conflicts between the two groups. His workload increased substantially, and he spent more time at the workplace as he tried to implement strategies prescribed by the organization’s top leadership. Peter felt underappreciated and was concerned that his career would stall at middle management.

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Peter’s stress was the result of role conflict, high workload, and difficulties negotiating organizational power dynamics as a middle manager. According to Anicich and Hirsh (660), the last cause of stress results from the nature of the middle manager’s job which involves interacting with various stakeholder groups which most likely have conflicting priorities. Peter’s stress had a negative impact on the workplace. He always seemed distracted and had trouble concentrating on even the smallest tasks. The effect of this development was the quality of Peter’s decision-making decreased drastically. He seemed to lack the motivation to turn up to work every day and perform his supervisory duties. Another important observation was that Peter was increasingly temperamental. Even the smallest mistakes angered him, and he lacked the patience to allow junior employees to learn about workplace operations. Stress was affecting his ability to work, and it was clear at the time that the situation had to be managed to avoid Peter’s situation developing to occupational ill-health.

Since workplace stress is gradual, it is important to know associated symptoms so that one can recognize stress not only in oneself but also in workplace colleagues and implement relevant stress management techniques. Behavioral symptoms of workplace stress include increased irritability, social isolation, changes in eating habits, changes in sleeping patterns, increased alcohol consumption, self-medication, becoming less cooperative and more accident-prone, and neglect of personal appearance. Physiological symptoms, on the other hand, include headaches, stomach problems, fatigue, muscle spasms, and raised blood pressure. Additionally, a stressed individual could also exhibit psychological symptoms such as anxiety, forgetfulness, apathy, and low self-esteem (Hilton and Whiteford 924). A practical stress management technique that I could use to overcome workplace stress is mindfulness meditation. Life can be hectic in the workplace hence emphasizing the importance of slowing things down and concentrating on one’s mental health. Meditation helps cultivate calmness in the mind and body which helps relieve stress-related tension. The consistent practice eventually transforms how one deals with difficult situations in the workplace since one develops resilience to stress. For an individual like Peter, mindfulness meditation would help him remain in the present and deal with the disappointments of middle management more positively. Despite the severity of workplace stress symptoms, mindfulness meditation can help overcome stress.

An organization’s management has a duty of care towards its employees and as such should address workplace stress by using preventative measures, identifying stress symptoms, and developing stress management programs. Since the incidence of stress in the workplace is on the rise, an organization’s management should be proactive. Accordingly, management should foster a conducive and supportive workplace atmosphere as the foundation of the proactive approach. The management could take several actions in this regard. First is encouraging and providing access to health and wellbeing opportunities. An employee feeling the strain of work would, therefore, get prompt treatment. Secondly, an organization’s management should empower staff to exercise some control over their workload. Encouraging staff to give views on their workload ensures better workload management hence helping avoid burnout which could lead to workplace stress. Another important consideration is considering the use of flexible working schedules. The move would help improve work-life balance which is necessary if employees are to remain contented with their work arrangement and thus maintain productivity. Regarding identifying the symptoms of stress, individual managers should have knowledge of their team and their working styles. The management would, therefore, identify uncharacteristic behavior which could be indicative of workplace stress early enough and act accordingly.

Counseling, advising, and mentoring are effective strategies for providing support for staff which could help in stress management. Counselling provides support by providing a safe place for individuals to talk about troubling issues. Besides, counselors help individuals find solutions to their problems and help develop coping strategies. Counseling should be offered as a specialist resource for all staff that can be accessed at any time. Providing advice, on the other hand, is appropriate when a manager notices a behavioral change in a staff member. While only a short-term fix, proper advice could help an employee deal with issues at the workplace better. Mentoring is a long-term engagement that involves a senior employee guiding a junior employee through high-pressure situations. Accordingly, advice can take place at any time since the parties involved are in close contact. Mentoring is especially effective when an employee thinks that they have messed up and that they are not good enough for the job. Through the use of knowledge and experience, mentoring helps individuals handle anxiety better.

Conclusion

Stress in the workplace is prevalent in the modern organization hence making it imperative for organizational leadership to take reactive measures to deal with the situation. Workplace stress results from factors such as work overload, role ambiguity and conflict, poor workplace relationships, and organizational structure. Understanding causes as well as symptoms of workplace stress is key to developing stress management strategies. Techniques such as meditation and management initiatives such as counseling, advising, and mentoring have proved important in providing support for individuals.

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Stress Management: Supporting Individuals In The Team. (2021, July 28). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/stress-management-supporting-individuals-in-the-team/
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Stress Management: Supporting Individuals In The Team. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/stress-management-supporting-individuals-in-the-team/> [Accessed 21 Jun. 2024].
Stress Management: Supporting Individuals In The Team [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Jul 28 [cited 2024 Jun 21]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/stress-management-supporting-individuals-in-the-team/
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