To the naked eye, it seems that America’s unemployment rate continues to cause obvious strain on the individuals who can not find employment. When you have to take into consideration all of the other immutable stressors such as relationships, finances, road rage and so forth, unemployment can perpetuate and magnify the negative nuances of these stressors. On the other hand, employed Americans also have similar stressors such as the worry of job insecurity and the changing corporate environments’ that inadvertently promote negative stress. Given the current economic difficulties that so many working Americans have toiled with, the question is: is it the responsibility of the organization or employee to manage stress in the workplace?
I know that most of us (if not all of us) have heard of the old adage that if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day… teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. The same concept must be taken into account when dealing with employees of any particular company when trying to teach them stress relief techniques. “Stress management training is designed to help provide employees with the resources necessary to cope more effectively when they are faced with stressors” (Jex, 2002.) Productive behavior, organizational commitment, and job satisfaction all go hand in hand. Somewhere in between the operation and administration of the business, organization leaders have the on going responsibility of increasing productive behavior in the workplace, which is in their best interest, means that they are responsible for the activities of the workplace. This means that the organizations best interests include reducing stressful circumstances in their organization to encourage productivity and employee satisfaction.
Most companies offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and time off or vacation as part of a benefits package. The problem is that the majority of employees do not know the benefits of the EAP nor that an EAP exists at their organization. Furthermore, a vacation is a temporary escape from stress and the workload that would be left behind. It is the employer’s partial responsibility to adopt and actively educate employees’ on stress relief techniques that will ensure that the employees’ and organization will operate at optimal health and productivity. Nevertheless, for the sake of the workplace, the weight of the accountability to cope with life stressors fall more so on the employee’s shoulder. After all, the employee would be able to monitor his or her own internal (at work) and external (in the community and at home) stress levels more frequently then the organization would be able to. If you are an employee, and you have been constantly tardy for work, moody during the work day or you feel overwhelmed with work as a response to stressors at home or work, here is what you need to do now:
1. Educate yourself – Most individuals do not know what their stress triggers are and everyone has unique stress triggers. There are models of behavior that will help you identify what your stressors and reactions are. Find out what your triggers are and you will be on your way to have resolved 33% of the issues you experience everyday. The other 67% of resolution is the act of coping with the stressors.
2. Learn what relaxation technique works for you – Training a person to effectively cope with stress in life through the means of relaxation techniques (like Yoga meditation, counting to 10, and learning how to be present) will prove to show a tremendous reduction in stress levels not only at work but at home and in the community.
3. Don’t wait to change – So often we think that we have time to change the way that we act or think. The reality is that the longer you wait to change negative behaviors or thoughts, the more conditioned you are to respond and think in the same negative manner.
4. Get a professional involved – Sometimes we think we know what’s best for us. But, we know it would be difficult to pull ourselves out of quicksand. The same concept applies here. We all need someone on the outside that can look inside to provide insight. Look for a professional certified life coach to identify your stressors with you and get on track to stresslessness.
Jex, S. (2002). Organizational Psychology: A Scientist-Practitioner Approach: Wiley & Sons, Inc.