Sunday, 31 July 2011 16:00The UK-based Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) recently released a report evaluating several programs aimed at reducing workplace stress. The findings concluded that management personnel had to work toward the right levels of involvement to successfully reduce job-related stress.
Specifically, the CIPD concluded that managers at various levels needed to understand, agree with and support the aims of a stress intervention program in order to serve as effective role models and convince employees of the project's value.
In order to secure that kind of managerial involvement and commitment, the report concluded that selecting and effectively communicating a stress-reduction program's message to both managers and employees is necessary.
The report notes that organizations may need to select tools to fit their particular culture, for example using statistics to underscore the need for a stress management program or naming it in a way that is consistent with the organization's past programs.
To establish your own corporate wellness initiative, consider HeartMath's Revitalize You! e-learning program, which may help employees learn techniques to reduce stress. It also makes a number of tools available.
Employees can benefit from the emWave2 handheld interactive device, which gives immediate feedback, allowing users to align their breathing and heart rhythms and reducing the negative effects of stress.
Sunday, 31 July 2011 16:00Australian federal work health and safety regulator Comcare has recently reported that mental stress claims at work have increased 54 percent since 2006. Workplace stress can negatively affect productivity, employee loyalty and retention.
Workplace stress may lead to fatigue that can weaken the body and mind, making illness and disease more likely and negatively impacting employee performance. Job stress can contribute to symptoms like headaches, mood and sleep disturbances, or possibly worsen existing medical conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Australian report revealed that bullying and harassment were major causes of stress along with the pressure of the work itself. While companies may have bullying policies, they can be insufficient.
"In many cases, the policies can be subverted so that...sometimes people will turn a blind eye to it and sometimes people will block workers' attempts to bring it to the attention of senior staff," said Helen McGrath, a Deakin University psychologist.
McGrath noted that Australian authorities have increased efforts to reduce bullying by educating workers on their rights. Occupational health and safety consultant Kevin Jones stated that some complaints, when investigated, turn out to be more of a misunderstanding or isolated incident rather than regular bullying.
Thursday, 28 July 2011 16:00In an economic environment where few things are certain, the ability of an employee or an organization to bounce back from a crisis or stressful event has perhaps never been so important.
As a result, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) teamed up with two other organizations to define the strategies that administrators and workers can use to build their professional resilience.
According to the CIPD, employee resilience can be supported with interventions that influence a more positive outlook. Additionally, workers should be supplied with tools and resources to develop skills to cope with stress. Such efforts may support a healthy overall lifestyle, the CIPD said.
Organization resilience can be strengthened with a strong business ethics that promote trust in the workplace. Also, a management team that is concerned with improving worker engagement and employee wellness may help build a better team, making for a more flexible business.
Employee wellness programs are available that promote reduced workplace stress and improved employee performance through healthy interventions and coaching methods.
Thursday, 28 July 2011 16:00Workers who tend to worry a lot may show it in different ways, with some taking proactive measures to solve problems and others choosing instead to criticize an organization for perceived shortcomings.
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and Penn State University found that the different ways in which people express their inner fears may have a significant effect on their relationships.
“The worry may be similar, but the impact of the worry on their interpersonal relationships would be extremely different. This suggests that interpersonal problems and worry may be intertwined,” said lead researcher Amy Przeworski.
The team of scientists said that worriers tend to fall within four categories: intrusive, cold, nonassertive and exploitable.
For example, a person who expresses their troubles in an intrusive manner may tend to excessively interrupt other individuals in an attempt to ease their mind. Others may be passive in how they deal with their fears, and some may be cold and critical of those who they perceive to be the cause of their worries.
Employees who are overly worried may be in need of tools and resources to manage their workplace stress. Employee wellness programs that provide these have been shown to effectively improve employee performance while reducing tension in the office.
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 16:00A big part of reducing workplace stress levels is helping employees recognize the signs of overwhelming anxiety so they can take proactive measures to reduce or prevent the negative effects of workplace stress.
Nonprofit organization HelpGuilde.org reports that employees who experience chronic tension may be less productive than their calmer counterparts, and that stress can lead to mental and physical disorders.
Some of the more obvious signs of intense workplace stress include irritability, depression, apathy and loss of interest, according to the source. Additionally, workers may begin to feel fatigued during the day and sleepless at night.
Stress can manifest itself physically in the form of muscle tension, headaches, gastrointestinal problems and loss of sex drive, the nonprofit reports.
The American Psychological Association recommends that individuals take the warning signs of stress seriously. Recognizing the symptoms of intense stress can help people take proactive measures to manage their anxiety in a healthy way, possibly leading to better overall health.
Employee wellness programs that provide tools and resources for stress management may help workers become more cognizant of their mental state, which may, in turn, improve employee performance and lead to a healthier staff.
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