Tomorrow is National Stress Awareness day and it seems a good time to reflect on what causes people in business stress.
Obviously starting a business is stressful, indeed being an entrepreneur is stressful but we often put a really brave face on things because we are aware that success is important.
There are times though in any business where changing economic factors, downsizing or even growth need to be addressed and these can all cause stress. It is stressful to manage the expectations of employees and staff can create numerous problems not least for those who have never managed a team before.
Business mentoring and coaching can be the key to having someone support you through some of these challenges. Having someone who can unlock your potential and work through problems in a confidential setting makes every problem in business a little less stressful.
Tackling work related stress is essential for both your own well being and that of friends and family and in order to ensure the performance of your business.
Think about some key factors which may be causing you stress and how to factor in some support or make a small change to decrease the stress in your workplace.
Here are two frequent examples which come up in mentoring our businesses at CBPartners.
Overwork – Consider your hours and whether they are reasonable or even necessary. Have you had a holiday this year? This may be a chance to review your time management and prioritisation of work, it may mean cutting out unnecessary tasks or delegating appropriately. Keeping a time diary for a week can often be helpful in seeing where we waste time unnecessarily during a day. Looking at our colleagues, direct reports or partners in business with fresh eyes can also help us see where they could help and do something which we have always done making the workload a little lighter. Ask yourself what will happen if overwork contributes to you becoming ill and start to think of ways to prevent this happening.
Poor performance – Improve recruitment and selection processes in order to make sure staff are well matched to their jobs and that performance is good from the start. Manage poor performance and look at the reasons why people may not be doing as well as you had hoped. Ensure they have the right resources and skills to get the job done and identify any further training needed. Encourage employees to discuss issues with you and give you ideas for improvement. Review performance regularly and keep staff informed about the direction of the business and any changes. Make sure you have good disciplinary policies and procedures and follow them, dont take short cuts. Consistent behaviour in managers is really important.
Some companies tackle stress head on and some wait until it is too late and there is a rise in sickness and absence. This will cost the business money. A stress audit can be very enlightening if you think there is little around and can be done through informal chats in groups or with individuals to find out if there are any concerns about stress.
For sole traders and small businesses stress can be internalised due to isolation and so getting to meetings with others in similar situations is really helpful. There are a number of free forums run by CBPartners where networking and meeting others goes hand in hand with a masterclass or information for business.
Please contact us on 01254 505050 if you would like any mentoring or coaching in these areas or wish to come to one of our forums for employers or our HR forum.