Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Managing stress during the Credit Crunch

Work related stress harms productivity and damages staff retention, according to the Health and Safety executive. Its research shows that over 105 million days are lost to stress each year costing UK employers over £1.2 billion. AND ... this was before the credit crunch! In today’s economic climate there can be no doubt that stress – “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them “is increasing. So what can we do about it ........
It is vital to remember that every individual is just that. Their reactions will vary from the traditional “flight or fight “and that burst of adrenalin. Adrenalin is neither good nor bad, ask our medal winning athletes! It is how we choose to respond to the situation that impacts on us, and those around us.

1. Focus – keep a clear eye on what you want to achieve, what is the outcome? Re-frame any obstacle/hurdle as exactly that – something to be overcome on the way to achieving your objective

2. Clear priorities – take a deep breath and remember why any outcome or goal is important to you. What values will you demonstrate in how you tackle the situation? In Neuro-Linguistic Programming terms you are at choice and can choose how to respond.

3. Identify your resources – this could include personal qualities & skills , friends , previous experience as well as the traditional financial and people resources

4. Take action – whatever you think appropriate. This may simply start by dividing the challenge into “bite sized chunks “and taking steps to address the “easiest “bit.

5. Use stress reduction techniques. The Stress Management Society recommends avoiding alcohol, taking physical activity and using self-hypnosis!
One of the most effective methods and quickest ways I have found for dealing with an unexpected challenge is to ask myself the question “ what can I learn from this ?” and then use the steps outlined above.
Stress management is clearly a business and leadership issue. It is a challenge for all of us ......
How do you rise to the challenge????