Here’s how to identify if you are the cause of second hand stress in your employees
Editor’s note: This is part two of a two part article. Part one is entitled Are You Causing Second Hand Stress Among Your Employees?
What kind of under stress Boss are you?
1. The Very Busy Boss:
The very busy under stress boss is frequently running around trying to put out fires. Often this boss talks and moves quickly, firing off emails, moving through the workplace, jumping in and trying to solve all the problems usually on his or her own.
The busy boss often expects everyone in the workplace to keep up and when others don’t the boss can believe that their employees are not committed enough to the organization. This can result in employees who feel insecure and unable to focus on their work at hand.
2. The Angry Boss:
Just as it sounds the angry boss is quick to become upset, argue, accuse and find fault including in public. The angry boss does not listen to explanations, often calling explanations excuses.
Among many outcomes of this type of boss is an increase in employees leaving or infighting among employees as they duck for cover and try to avoid getting in the bosses line of sight.
3. The Missing Boss:
The missing boss can include the boss who is avoiding the situation by staying away or who is withdrawing from the situation by staying home and is generally avoiding communication.
This type of boss leaves a void in the organization that causes employees to lose confidence and become uncertain about the direction of the organization, which can cause paranoia to set-in as employees believe the boss is giving up and they have to watch their own backs more carefully.
4. The Indecisive Boss:
The indecisive boss may feel he or she is weighing all options or being inclusive of others ideas as a way of making decisions but the indecisive leader fails to provide leadership and direction.
An indecisive boss leaves a similar void as the missing boss, in that employees lose confidence and direction. Additionally the indecisive boss can paralyze the organization with confusion, as decisions are either not made or they are changed and remade repeatedly.
If you are an under stress boss you might manifest any or all of these characteristics at various times.
Therefore it is important on a regular basis to take stock in how well you are managing your stress and identify if you are exhibiting any of these under stress characteristics.
How can you identify if you are causing second hand stress in your employees?
What might you see if your workplace is highly under stressed?
- Increased absences and decreased retention of employees
- Increased health care costs among employees – this is often a result of employees seeing more services if you have an EAP program.
- More performance errors at work
- More complaints about and by employees including from other employees or from customers.
- Employees avoiding you, avoiding communicating and responding to you
- More displays of emotions in the workplace (anger, tears, jealousy to name a few)
- Less cooperation between teams and among individual employees
- Generally lower moral, which can include employees not participating in or planning as many social events as in the past.
Monitoring yourself and your interactions with others will help you identify if you might be in danger of causing second hand stress in your workplace
Consider these 4 aspects of your life today to determine if stress is getting the better of you:
1. Monitor you health:
The physical symptoms of stress include feeling unwell, fatigue, aches, difficulty sleeping and increased irritability. If you are feeling these effects ongoing and not just for a few moments when you are under extra pressure you may not have control over your stress.
2. Monitor your behavior:
Changes in your behaviour can include not participating in thing you previously enjoyed, changes in mood, personality, over eating, over sleeping or insomnia, more difficulty in maintaining personal relationships.
3. Monitor your performance:
More difficulty that previously getting your work done, trouble concentrating, making decisions, learning new information, solving problems or communicating
4. Monitor your perceptions and interactions with others:
Sometimes the best way to see ourselves is to listen to what others are saying or how they are looking at us. If the people around you are changing the way they interact with you, avoiding you, becoming more upset in your presence, arguing with you or questioning you more often
If you identify that you are under increased stress there is a good chance your stress is having a negative impact in your business, no matter how well you believe you are managing it.
If you want to improve your own health and the health of your workplace take proactive steps to create a healthy workplace. Set the example by monitoring and managing your own stress and invite your employees to learn about how to better manage their stress.
The result can be a workplace where the stress people experience is the type that has the positive effect of improving a performance.