Work stress among managers: Every year too high a workload causes many employees to suffer burnout. That is a major problem nationwide. But what if you as a supervisor get burned out as a result of too much work pressure? This may have even more consequences: not only on a personal level but also within your organization. All the more reason to be extra careful with your health. As a manager, how do you deal with work stress properly? How do you prevent burnout?
Why work stress?
Many supervisors and managers are under great pressure. Maybe you are one of them. You must achieve targets and at the same time keep your team going and motivated. That employee who is at home with burnout, or that fire that you still have to extinguish. The things you need to think about are piling up. Is that feeling of not knowing where to start familiar?
For many managers, high work pressure leads to work stress. You may sometimes have the feeling that you are barely able to do the work for which you were hired. The feeling that you have too much on your plate can be frustrating and can rob you of your job satisfaction . It may even lead to burnout. But luckily it doesn’t have to go that far. You can get a lot done and at the same time enjoy going to work.
You can also let yourself be coached as a manager
As a manager, you have a switching position. On the one hand, you have a responsibility to the organization you work for. On the other hand, you are responsible for a team of employees. This switch position ensures that you are constantly required. You have to juggle with many balls. The investors or owners want to see a good turnover. As a manager, you have the task of achieving those targets together with your employees. You are the point of contact for both sides and you feel responsible to keep both parties happy. This sense of responsibility can create pressure and work stress, especially when a company needs to be reorganized.
Also read: personal development at work
Engaged at work
If you ask someone what it is like, you often hear: busy! We are more or less expected to be busy. Effective use of your time can also make you feel satisfied. Yet it can be a challenge to balance on the border between ‘nice and busy’ and ‘too busy’. We look for that limit but do not want to cross it, at least not for too long.
Moments of work stress are not in themselves wrong. Work stress ensures that your body produces adrenaline so that you perform better. So far so good. But prolonged work stress can have an adverse effect on your body and mind. So regularly try to estimate the level of crowds. Your view of your work is often a good indicator: are you doing it with pleasure or reluctantly? Are you looking forward to it or dreading it? Work pleasure is always better than work stress.
We often see in practice that managers initially have a clear job description. And usually, a supervisor devises a workable system to perform his tasks well. But gradually a task is added. Many managers keep these tasks to themselves and try to ‘take them all on’. As a result, he slowly but surely loses the overview of what exactly is required of him. Unexpected things – such as an employee who suddenly falls ill or resigns – and the extra work that is generated as a result, can then be a major source of work pressure.
Also read: dealing with deadline stress
How do you prevent work stress?
Of course, you want to prevent long-term work stress. Not only because work stress is harmful to yourself; your stress also has an effect on your environment. Stress is contagious. If you are stressed by too much work and therefore have a short fuse, there is a chance that you will fall against people; you are annoyed and unable to control yourself for a while. Not exactly conducive to the atmosphere in the workplace. You can inadvertently pass on the stress that you have built up to yourself to others. This will be at the expense of the atmosphere, creativity and productivity. All the more reason to prevent such a situation.
Read also this article >> Stress Prevention: Why Is That So Important for Companies?
The Pareto principle: the 80/20 rule
Most managers are well acquainted with the Pareto principle. Yet they often forget to apply it. According to the Pareto principle, you can achieve 80% of your goals with 20% of your time. So if you properly map out what your tasks are, you can check off a very large part of those tasks in relatively little time. That skill helps managers to divide their time and optimize their productivity.
Set clear goals
The Pareto principle works on the basis of clear goals. If you have a clear vision of what your objectives are, you can also determine which tasks are most important to achieve those objectives. So determine for yourself what your goals are. Then create a task list and select the tasks that are most important to achieve those goals. You will be amazed at how much you get done in a short time.
Also read about: Input or output-driven management
Multitasking versus single-tasking
Some people boast that they are good at multitasking: doing multiple things at the same time. Yet it turns out that our complex tasks are not multitasked, but switch tacks: switching between different tasks quickly. Is it wise to switch task? Suppose you are on the phone while you are consulting with an employee and answering an e-mail. In total, you spend an hour on this. That sounds like making good use of your time. But is that so? Practice shows that often these tasks could have been handled much faster if you had dealt with them one after the other: 10 minutes of calling, 10 minutes of consultation with your employee and 10 minutes to answer your e-mail. It sometimes seems productive to respond quickly to every impulse, but actually we are simply better at single-tasking.
Read more about multitasking
Too much workload. What now?
If you are currently experiencing work stress, you must intervene immediately. Stress that lasts too long is very bad for your health. Long-term stress not only increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, but it can also lead to all sorts of other physical complaints. If too much cortisol (stress hormone) is released, your immune system is undermined. And of course, you want to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of burnout. The recovery is often slow and the health problems can persist for years.
Reduce work stress: ask for help and delegate
It sounds very simple: ask for help . That is easier said than done. You must dare to be vulnerable. And that is not easy for a manager, because managers often want to keep up. Nevertheless, practice shows that asking for help does not lead to loss of image for you as a manager. Showing your human side usually leads to more understanding and better relationships. Moreover, you can create more togetherness by sharing and delegating tasks .
Also read: Delegate and let go as a manager
Reduce work stress : keep moving
“A healthy mind in a healthy body.” That is an ancient wisdom that most people support. However, exercising is often one of the first things we remove from our schedule when we are busy. No time for that. Nevertheless, it is more important than ever to keep exercising and moving during busy periods.
For example, when running, the cortisol level in your blood drops (with an endurance run of 20 minutes or more). It also appears to help you deal with stress better. People who are physically fit can handle stressful situations better. Of course, running is not for everyone. But walking for half an hour at a heart rhythm of approximately 120 bpm also has a beneficial effect. The principle is clear: make sure you have enough exercise to dispel the stress from your body.
Plan, but plan well
Many managers tend to plan very tightly. Or sometimes not to plan anything. Both scenarios encourage stress. If you are planning tightly, you are always lagging behind because things take longer than expected or because something unexpected happens, resulting in a constant feeling of stress. If you plan generously, you will probably do just as much work, but with a totally different feeling.
Managers who do things at their own pace and do not plan, often have no overview of the work. It is a form of ostrich policy that usually ends with panic football. That always gives stress. A spacious schedule provides structure and tranquillity.
Also read: Goal-oriented or Process-oriented
Work stress under control
A manager who does not succumb to work stress is more valuable. To begin with, you do not want to commit robbery on your body by allowing long-term stress to deplete your body. Your health is worth a lot to you.
In addition, as a supervisor, you will get more out of your employees if you can enjoy your work. As mentioned, stress is contagious. But the same applies to peace and other beautiful circumstances. In an organization where there is a good atmosphere, more beautiful things come about: team spirit, creativity and productivity.
As a manager, you are an important pivot in your organization. You have a lot on your mind, but you can keep your work stress under control. Be a good example by dealing well with stress and working with pleasure. And by being this energetic example, your employees can also enjoy their work. That is a win-win situation. This makes everyone happy.
Milltain for organisations:
With the help of a team of experienced trainers, Milltain supports organisations in the prevention of stress and the (re) finding of work happiness in the workplace. A single burnout can easily cost an organisation € 70,000 (or more!)
In addition to financial suffering, the human suffering is great. Not only for the employee but also for close colleagues who have to deal with the blows. Before long, you find yourself in a negative vicious circle.
Get long-term absence and stress among employees under control with the help of our highly effective team training via Zoom or a similar tool.
This training has proven to be an international success for both managers (leadership skills) and employees (dealing with stress).