Tuesday, April 27, 2010


In the April issue of Fast Company there are quite some facts listed about stress.

-       62% of Americans are stressed about work, according to the American Psychological Association.
-       In Sweden mental illness, including stress and anxiety, accounts for 41% of total sick pay, up from 15% in 1990.
-       One in four Americans admits to having taken a “mental-health day” to cope with stress. This costs employers $602 per worker per year.
-       Each year more than 275,000,000 working days are lost in the US because of absenteeism resulting from stress.

This is shocking, both for employees and for employers. So stress makes you feel not good and it costs a lot of money as well.  But what are we doing about it?
It looks like many people think that stress is normal and that you just have to cope with it. What a sad way of looking at stress this is.

In our workshop about stress management we use this definition:
‘Stress is a form of pain which comes to tell me there is something I need to change.’
So, I, the employee, have to give myself a very good look in the mirror and see what is causing my stress and what I can do about it. The same is applicable to the employer, what can (s)he do to reduce stress in the workplace?

The key thing here is to look at what you CAN do as an individual yourself. Blaming others or expecting that others should change first will only increase stress. Why? Simply because we cannot change other people, we can only change ourselves. And then when both the employee and the employer are really open, they can discuss ways to improve the situation.

This is especially important in a service environment, because the customers will immediately notice when you (the person delivering the service) are stressed out. And this will negatively impact the customer experience. This might even mean that your customer will not repeat his business with you. Your customers want to be served by people who are really enthusiastic and passionate and they will notice when you are not REAL, not authentic.

If you want to create a win-win-win situation (for the employee, the employer and the customer) take a look in the MIRROR now and address the root causes of stress.


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