How Can Small Business Owners Manage Workplace Stress?
How does stress affect a Small Business? There are many reasons why millennials are feeling more anxious than other generations, but the most obvious factors seem to be financial and work-related resulting in workplace stress.
Today’s workforce is an era of intense competition, meaning more young Australians are working part-time or in casual or contract positions, regularly juggling multiple jobs and working longer hours to make ends meet.
Social competition and comparison continually reinforced online through social media can also play a role in depressive symptoms. Keeping up with others can be physically and mentally exhausting, and when coupled with high expectations the pressure can be too much.
People who have to navigate complex, contradictory and sometimes hostile environments are vulnerable to burnout. Exposure to the same pressures and feeling emotionally and physically exhausted can leave you feeling dissatisfied. This, in turn, will affect both your personal life and work life. Perfectionists, especially the self-critical ones, are at an even greater risk of burnout.
Burnout is a feeling of helplessness, disillusionment, and exhaustion. When you’re burnt out, problems seem insurmountable and it’s difficult to muster up the energy to care.
The unhappiness and detachment caused by burnout can threaten your job, your relationship and your health.
Burnout and workplace stress are pretty closely linked, but they’re not the same thing. Stress is manageable in the short-term, whereas burnout is constant stress that’s unrelenting. Burnout is a state of complete mental, physical and emotional exhaustion.
Signs of burnout include:
- Feeling tired, fatigue and sleep deprivation constantly and unable to perform basic tasks.
- Losing motivation to work and form new friendships.
- Feeling unable to focus or concentrate on tasks.
- Experiencing conflict in your relationships with co-workers, friends, and family.
- Feeling empty and lacking in emotion.
- Withdrawing from activities you once loved.
- Protecting against burnout
If you recognise the signs of burnout you can help yourself by:
- Taking regular time out to sit and reflect.
- Making an effort to ‘switch off’ each day from technology.
- Developing skills to manage conflict and professionalism in the workplace.
- Re-evaluating your goals and priorities.
- Reaching out for support from friends, family, your colleagues or a health professional.
- Setting boundaries so as not to overextend yourself.
- Making more time to do the things you love most.
- When your employees’ personal problems affect work
When it comes to workplace stress and your employee’s personal problems, it’s hard to know how involved you should get.
If stress is affecting your employee’s work and putting their job in jeopardy, it might be time to step in. Step lightly, however, as getting involved in the personal lives of your workers can be difficult.
Here are some things to consider:
1. How well do I know the employee?
The quality of your relationship should be a factor in your decision. A long-term employee, for example, you may trust more than someone who’s just started.
2. Will helping the employee benefit the company?
Sometimes good business means occasionally forgetting you’re running a business, but generally speaking, helping an employee should be a win-win situation. Will your assistance help fuel motivation and hard work?
3. Can you help them help themselves?
Hands-off help can sometimes be the best approach to managing an employee’s stressful situation. Perhaps you can link them to resources that can help rather than be a supportive ear yourself? Ignoring the problem shouldn’t be an option, but outsourcing help can be beneficial.
Getting on top of things early.
Whether it’s you, a friend or an employee at risk of burnout and stress, getting on top of things early should be a priority for every small business owner. Not doing so can lead to a person having to manage both a personal problem and a professional one.
Lastly, if you see one of your employees suffering from workplace stress, burnout, and fatigue – take action, and don’t be shy to seek a professional consultation to gain an outside opinion.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH LIKE MINDED SMALL BUSINESS PEOPLE