WHS: Recognising stress at the work place
Rose Training Australia talks combating stress in the office.
Before you read this blog, please watch this Youtube video:
Okay, here at Rose Training we chuckled a bit. Alright, maybe a lot. This was an innovative, amusing and inventive way for an employee to tell her boss that she was stressed and that no one took the time to recognise that she was unhappy before it was too late. And her dancing skills are pretty rad, we have to admit. This interpretative dance has gone viral in only a couple of days, and joins a new trend of employees taking to the internet via videos and memes to describe their stressful and unsupportive working conditions and the hilarious circumstances in which they quit. Yes, it gives them cred. Yes, it shows the boss that their leadership skills probably need some fine-tuning via a Project Management or TAE Cert IV or Diploma. Yes, it gives exploited employees a voice. But why has it gotten to this stage in the first place? In this week’s WHS blog, we are going to discuss how to recognise and deal with stress in your work place before it’s too late and you are the subject of a viral online video much to the humiliation of yourself and the amusement of your colleagues!
Rose Training’s WHS Hero and expert Serge Rossignol sheds some light on this super important OH&S topic.
So, how do you detect stress in your employees before it’s too late and they are making an interpretative dance about what a horrible boss you are? Here are some handy WHS tips for you:
- If your colleagues are feeling irritable, frustrated, nervous or anxious
- If your colleagues have lost interest in their work and don’t contribute to team meetings
- If your colleagues look tired and fatigued
- If your colleagues are complaining of muscle pain, headaches and other illnesses.
Obviously some levels of stress are okay and WHS acceptable, and there may be mornings where the office is really busy and you are running on three coffees and are extremely flustered. But then you can have a chill in the afternoon and a good night’s sleep when you get home.
What RTA is distinguishing today is the difference between stressful morning and long term stressful periods that reduce workplace productivity and morale, and can lead to mental and physical conditions in the future. Not cool.
So how can you as a manager, trainer or boss help reduce stress levels in your work place, leading to a more WHS friendly atmosphere?
Be Transparent. Make sure you communicate efficient and effectively in your workplace, and don’t keep secrets about things like job and budget cuts.
- Delegate and define everyone’s roles and responsibilities. Sometimes people get stressed out because they are confused about what they should be doing, or they feel like they are getting more work than someone else.
- Make sure that everyone is travelling alright with their work and that you can be approached at any time to discuss issues your colleagues may be having.
- Praise good performance in the work place!
- Provide opportunities for social interaction at the workplace. At Rose Training we have Friday drinks with a cheese platter, where everyone has a chat and a wine before heading home for the weekend.
How about taking steps to ensure your employees are reducing their stress levels in every way they can?
WHS is a two way street, making sure you do your best as the employer to instil good WHS practises in the workplace, and encouraging your employees to follow these rules for a happy and productive environment.
- Take care of yourself. Exercise, eat well and rest. Spend time with your family and friends.
- Prioritise and manage your time well – set yourself mini goals for the day, write to do lists, set aside a break time, and make sure your work is spaced out for the entire day
- Don’t overcommit – it’s okay to say no if you have other engagements or if your workload can’t be added to!
- Resolve conflict between you and the person who is causing you stress in an amicable, positive and friendly manner. Talk to your office’s WHS officer or counsellor about ways you can approach this topic with your boss. Talking about the issues is A LOT better than keeping quiet, making a Youtube video then quitting
- Stuff happens that we can’t control. Losing clients, profits going down, cutting budgets. We have to take these kinds of things in our stride otherwise every single day at work will be a living nightmare. Remember, take a deep breath, tell yourself this isn’t the end of the world, and carry on.
Check out this website for more tips: