HOW to Manage your Team in Times of Stress (Part 2)

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

1. Building Resilience + Constructive Culture = Optimum Results

As touched on in our previous article, Organisations are finding new ways every day to condense their output expenditure while stretching their internal functions and materials to the limit. When these Organisations do not have the money or interest of adding additional tools for overworked staff, what can a manager stuck between a rock and a hard place do?

The answer… Build their resilience and show understanding of their struggle to create a Constructive Culture.

Resilience training, while not the optimum solution, has proven effective in many Business Organisations worldwide, including those within the Fortune 500. Like a battery, humans can start to run low on energy, but instead of Electricity, we need other ways to recharge. Activities such as; Exercise, spending time with family and friends and pursuing Personal Hobbies and Interests, in combination with healthy habbits for physical wellbeing (Keeping up on water, sleeping and eating well) – These ALL help strengthen an employee’s internal Resilience to Stress.

“Learning techniques to improve the quality of ones thinking and reactions to pressures and demands is another key to boosting resilience, as well as mindfulness training, which allows us to be in the present more often… It doesn’t really matter what the activity is… the challenge is making the time to do something different and incorporate it into your lifestyle to improve personal resilience” (Rachel Clements – Director of Psychological Services @ The centre for Corporate Health)

It goes without saying that this resilience training needs to be a “Two-Level Approach.” If Organisations are serious about strengthening emotional resilience and empowering their team to maintain effective work performance, both levels must commit. Ensuring that the individual employee is not solely responsible for his/her mental wellbeing by merely providing resilience training, but also implementing Organisational Approaches and having a strong Company Culture to encourage your people to flourish, even in the face of pressure.

2. Redesigning Work

The alternate way of Managing Workplace Stress is changing the structure of tasks and encouraging your Organisation to think about its Job Design. For example, one of the main stressors experienced in every workplace is role conflict – Where the employee is pulled in two separate directions – Forcing them to work across two separate realms ineffectively and with a clash of interest…

Picture, for example, a call centre in which the team are constantly told to “Keep it Short and Sweet” with clients on the phone to maximise phone calls, but on the flip-side are also frequently told “Customer service is Key” causing them distress at keeping the call short, but also assisting clients with all their needs.

Here is where the redesigning of work would be beneficial. In order to satisfy both aims, the organization could split the jobs of its call centre employees into two, with certain employees fielding short and to-the-point calls, while appointing other team members in charge of longer customer service consultations.

Stress Management needs to be an Organisation-wide strategy, not just the responsibility of Managers or Individuals. “Smart CEOs know stress affects their bottom line. They know that if you get the tasks and work conditions right then productivity goes up” (Caponecchia, UNSW)... In other words, it needs to be a trickle-down effect from the hierarchy of your Organisation to be successful.

Contact 3CM on 1300 159 000 or via 3CMInfo@3cm.com.au if you need help with your Company Culture and Empowering your Team.