Leaders with the power to identify how stress affects the overall health, productivity and morale of the entire organization set themselves apart by doing so. Tackling the causes of stress in individuals and in organizations leads to higher performance, fewer missed days and, most importantly, reinforces your company truly cares for its employees. Start diagnosing stress – and begin creating a healthier, more productive workplace by using TTI SI’s Stress Quotient™.
The Stress Quotient™ Assessment reveals 7 sources of organizational anxiety and stress:
Being challenged at work can escalate into having a highly demanding job. Often a result of poorly designed jobs, stress resulting from excessive demand happens when workloads become overwhelming or skills or talents don’t match the position.
2. EFFORTS/REWARD BALANCE
When high levels of output and effort are met with minimal rewards – whether that be compensation, a promotion or simple recognition for a job well done – an individual’s stress can skyrocket. Without an effort/reward balance, an employee can feel disconnected, unmotivated and even angry.
Feeling powerless is a universal cause of job stress. Lack of control comes from high responsibility paired with low authority, not being heard, not being involved and others not understanding your work.
4. ORGANIZATION CHANGE
Changes within the organization– from management restructuring to new policies and procedures – impact individuals differently. For some, it brings apprehension, insecurity and confusion – all which can raise stress levels when changes are not properly communicated or understood.
Reasonable directives from your boss should be expected. It’s when he or she creates enormous pressure or challenges, to the point of it hindering your workload, that cause stress to increase.
6. SOCIAL SUPPORT
An unsupportive social environment can cause workplace stress. Managers who don’t provide clear and consistent information and co-workers who fail to assist one another leaves employees feeling unengaged and unproductive.
7. JOB SECURITY
Fearing for your job is extremely stressful. However, stress can also be caused by lack of advancement, being promoted too slowly or being promoted too quickly to be successful in the job.
Group Stress Index Summary
Like an illness, stress can spread throughout an office and have a controlling effect on team dynamics. As this summary graph shows, stress has greatly impacted the organization (18 employees were surveyed) as 94 percent of the department has elevated and significant stress levels. The Organizational Change Index tells us how stress has a perceived impact on organizational communication, or how policies, procedures and other policies are communicated, as well as achieving change for the future. Stress also has a large, perceived impact on this group’s social support network; 73 percent of respondents believe there is a lack of cooperation and that people are consciously or unconsciously bypassing others or situations that might cause conflict.
Stress can be a positive in our lives, spurring us into action to accomplish tasks. But often, stress is a negative, particularly when faced with continuous challenges we are not equipped to handle. Because we don’t always want to admit we’re stressed in the workplace, it can be a silent killer, as the symptoms aren’t always pronounced. Managing these physical and emotional symptoms allows us to better deal with stress. As this summary graph shows, behavioral stress symptoms, which include eating or sleeping issues, procrastination or other nervous habits, have had an effect on this group and impacted work at this organization. Physical and emotional symptoms, including low energy, frequent illness, irritability and feeling overwhelmed also scored high and are typically of major concern to employers. These stress-related issues tend to fester and impact productivity or one’s ability to show up to work.
Stress Factor – Effort/Reward Balance
Job satisfaction stems not only from enjoying the work itself, but also rewards in the form of compensation, benefits and overall satisfaction based on aligned cultural values. When those desires aren’t met and workloads pile up, stress and burnout can build slowly over time, creating a significant disconnect between workplace needs and satisfaction. As this graph shows, this individual views the work as genuinely meaningful, but feels he is not being properly recognized or rewarded for his contribution. Is someone taking credit for his work? Does he believe he’s not getting fairly compensated? Calling attention to this impasse can certainly help lessen the stress this individual has regarding workplace recognition and rewards.