In our lifetime we experience both positive stress and negative stress. Positive stress is a good thing because it motivates us to get the right work done. Negative stress, on the other hand, harms our mental and physical health and prevents the efficient completion of work.
If company leadership has realistically committed to building a great workplace based on mutual trust and respect, they must be vigilant in finding all sources of negative stress in their work environment.
Why would you want to eliminate negative stress in your company? According to HelpGuide.org, below are warning signs of excessive (negative) stress in the workplace:
- Feeling anxious, irritable or depressed
- Apathy, loss of interest in work
- Problem sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
- Muscle tension and headaches
- Stomach problems
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of sex drive
- Using alcohol or drugs to cope
Employees with these mental and physical complications are not going to bring their “A” game to work each and every day. It is likely your company will fail to meet financial targets while a large number of your employees are suffering from mental or physical complications. Even the best of employees subjected to negative stress over time will be overcome by one or more symptoms of negative stress and eventually become a workplace casualty.
To reduce or eliminate the causes of negative stress, one must find the source of negative stress. According to BusinessLink, negative stress could be traced to one or more of the following workplace issues:
- Heavy workloads with unrealistic deadlines
- Insufficient workloads where people don’t feel needed
- Employee’s feeling lack of control
- Poor working relationships
- Insufficient training
- Sink or swim attitude for new employees or promoted employees
- Concerns over job security, lack of opportunities
- Bullying or harassment
- A blame culture where people are afraid to make or admit mistakes
- Weak leadership with no sense of direction
- Micromanagement which makes employees feel under-valued
- Multiple reporting lines and all supervisors expect to be #1 priority
- Failure to communicate to employees
- Poor physical work conditions
If you are a CEO, you need to act like an Undercover Boss without the cameras and find these negative stressors to help your company achieve great success. It’s always hunting season for negative stress.