You are working on a critical business deal closure; however, the team is not ready with the numbers. You are way past your deadline on submitting the quarterly business report which was due last week. Surely, these problems crowd your thoughts. Your body is no doubt dumping Cortisol and Epinephrine at an unmanageable rate. Collabera might be your go-to solution for the next quarter. And we’ll help you understand how to streamline and handle work stress within entrepreneurial circles through 10 effective steps.
Research by Lars Glasø and Ståle Einarsen – (Leadership, affect and outcomes: symmetrical and asymmetrical relationships, 2017), shows that employees tend to reflect the emotions of their managers. The managerial stress usually enforces the leader to use a kind of ‘Pretend Enthusiasm’. This impacts the passion and excitement towards managing a team simultaneously, creates a sense of detachment from work. Different kinds of leadership styles can be ingrained within a team that can help organizations surpass the performance bottlenecks.
It has become ubiquitous to create a foundation for self-awareness amongst top management & leadership in multi-national organizations. Below is a strategic methodology that helps reduce the stress blast and improve efficiency within the teams.
1. Shuffle Leadership Styles
An effective leader shuffles between different leadership styles because a ‘one-size-fits-all’ leadership solution is hardly useful given the range of complex situations in an organisation. Adopting situational leadership style assists in understanding your people and organisational culture to create a deeper impact on the ground level. It is crucial for leaders to not only recognise the importance of investing in their employees but also for line managers to play a front line role in providing socio-emotional support and guidance to them.
2. Integrate KRA & KPI
When you manage your teams with a defined KRA and KPI, data is always the forefront of every decision you make. However, it is important to design KPI based on your business rather than adopting industry based KPIs. Make this an inclusive and interactive process by engaging different departmental heads and feedbacks from analysts. Key Result Areas of each employee should be spread across the organizations and be in sync with the top level goals and responsibilities. Using these components helps to reach the full potential for both workforce and leadership alike. The methodology of Strong Communication Doctrines and Performance Culture are closely tied with the integration of KRA & KPI.
3. Organisational Accountability
HR and leaders must create a corporate synergy and provide managers and employees with tools and training to reduce stress and to disabuse people of the idea that stoicism equals strength. It is important to educate the workforce about the activities to reduce stress and cultivate the practice to grow a kind of strength which comes from reduced tensions and not from masked feelings and clenched teeth.
4. Performance Culture
An effective performance culture directly impacts the organisational DNA. High-performance culture is structured with the idea of creating a release value from the management in a way that it does not translate to negative stress. There is no linear equation to solve this however, to quell the peaking discontent, it is imperative to firstly focus on creating effective performance management behaviours and then ensure that the performance management system reinforces and supports those behaviours. Some beneficial practices include:
- Instead of creating intermittent spurts of activity spiking a few times a year, development activities should be ongoing and in real time as learning opportunities arise.
- High-performance culture is likely to evolve in an environment which abandons the age-old numerical ratings and possibly recognizes an individual’s unique traits in order to create the performance required.
- To drive the enculturation of performance management behaviour, regular short pulse surveys are useful for collecting feedback on growth opportunities.
5. Strong Communication Doctrines
One of the biggest stressors in an organisation is the failure of effective communication from top management to down and vice versa. Stress often accumulates over the debilitating impact of either receiving poor communication or receiving it in overabundance through different digital platforms. Effective communication works when leadership creates a structure for an organised interchange of information. Relaying the core values of the company along with a depiction of the bigger picture brings the workforce on the same page. Additionally, emphasis on open door policy and conflict resolution by removing the negative stigma around talking about stress and mental health can go a long way in employee retention. Leadership must take strides to ensure their people are satisfied and most of all heard.
6. Emotional Intelligence
EI refers to intelligently controlling emotions and leading others. An organisation works on a 24/7 crisis mode where every email is an emergency. It is essential to stay focussed and not get too rattled. Experience is the key here because you learn almost intuitively when to dial up or down and stay cognizant of the different situations you find yourself in. It is imperative to make decisions from a prioritisation standpoint rather than an automaticity stand-point. Stay centred by applying the rule of powerful pause which is a split second moment between a thought and the reaction.
7. Regular Management Training
Follow the cognitive-focused strategies which include engaging in positive self-talk, constructive mental imagery, and eliminating dysfunctional beliefs and assumptions. It is almost like a self “pat-on-the-back”. This strategy requires a mind-set shift from panic to calm and self doubt to trust.
8. Strategic Planning
Prioritising your time plays a key role in your efficiency and work management. Planning ranges from the smallest of things such as creating a to-do list to the biggest of tasks such as cultivating and building a strong IT team with a combination of IT skills and business knowledge to improve operational excellence.
9. Effective Delegation
Managers more often than not believe in taking ownership of every idea and direct their teams through the minutiae of accomplishing them. This form of micromanagement leads to frustration for both the manager and the team. Managers need training on how to solicit ideas and advice without giving up a sense of control over the final product. To do so they need to embrace their role as facilitators and believe in the magic of effective delegation.
10. Best Health Practises
Adopt and apply Stress Management Practices as advised by Best Health Practitioners. We often underestimate the power of self-healing. No matter how much work you do every day it is important for having your personal downtime. Some beneficial practices include:
- Regular Exercise
- Spending quality time with loved ones
- Having a passion outside work
- Personal time and meditation
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” – Will Durant.
The strategies above will only succeed when the top management effectively abstains from the effects of negative stress themselves. They must lead by example. It is definitely not easy to come out of this vicious cycle which reinforces stress caused by deadlines and work pressure however, there is power in renewal and strength in self-awareness. Ask yourself what’s the worst case scenario that could happen with this situation? Usually, you’ll discover that things aren’t as bad as they seem on the surface.