Stress is an important factor in the workplace to make sure that tasks get completed. Yet stress that is not supported by stress recovery balance is damaging.
What the Senior Manager should do?
It can be a difficult task to make sure that the need for stress and the requirement for stress recovery balance are met, yet if senior managers want their organizations to succeed, addressing this point is critical.
One question that senior managers have is how to support a culture where stress is acceptable only when stress recovery balance exists.
Transformational change of this nature needs to be led from the top of the organization. An important part of this is that the senior leadership team needs to talk the talk AND walk the walk. It is no good telling the rest of the team to spend time recovering from stress, only to go on and exhibit entirely different behavior. The team will model what the manager does, so the manager must be a good role model of the expected behaviors.
How to get it right?
People are the lifeblood of the organization. Without great talent the organization will not live up to its potential. People may work very hard, taking on too much stress to show what they can do. Yet people that are burnt out will not be able to deliver the best quality work. Putting in place structure and policy that supports a stress recovery balance culture could include considering utilising reward management structures and performance management to encourage the behavior of success. Those that perform in the desired way can be rewarded for doing so.
Equally, senior management can offer coaching that can help pinpoint a damaging relationship that an employee has with stress, getting the staff member to reflect on how to behave differently to achieve improved outcomes – both for themselves and for everyone else around them.
Getting it right between the right amount of stress and stress recovery balance is hard but by no means impossible. Senior management should work to guide the organization towards a new organizational culture and work with the Human Resources team to put in place policies and structure to support it.