Organizational Stress Management: A Unique Approach to Improving Job Performance

Management Development Plus (MDP) assists health, education and human service organizations enhance their services in cost effective ways that improve employee productivity and consumer satisfaction.

In the workforce, the phrase "stress management" generally conjures up visions of employee relaxation groups. Such groups may provide workers with one experiential aspect of stress management that is valuable. However, without follow-up, employees may return to the job and all its stresses and sometimes forget to implement what they have learned. Morale continues to falter, productivity continues to suffer, costly staff turnover increases and burnout still prevails! How then can stress management help an organization?

One effective approach is to focus on the organizational stressors in addition to the individual. Once these are identified, managers can be assisted to make systemic and procedural changes that will address those stressful areas that impact negatively on performance quality and productivity. The best way to identify the organizational stressors is by conducting a formal assessment. Through interviews and focus groups with management and staff, a trained assessor evaluates program structure and operational procedures as they relate to job stress. Once the problem areas are identified, a work plan can be implemented that addresses those areas.

While stress can never be totally eliminated from the job (nor would we want it to be), the organizational assessment and resulting work plan are major steps in alleviating stress in a systemic way to improve work performance. The results can be quite dramatic!

Facts about Stress

  • Stress is an unavoidable part of our life.
  • Stress is related to how we perceive demands made upon us and how we perceive our ability to effectively cope with the demands.
  • We tend to experience stress from change, whether positive, such as a job promotion or negative, such as the loss of a job.
  • Our responses to stress can be physical, emotional, and behavioral or reflected in the way we think.
  • The mind, body and spirit are related; if one part is neglected, it affects the others.

Facts about Stress Management

  • Stress management is just what it says--how we manage stress.
  • Stress management specialists help us look at how we contribute to our own stress-how we think, our approach toward work and toward our physical and mental well being, our daily routine and our overall life style choices.
  • Stress management techniques incorporate relaxation and stress reduction activities into our daily routine and work schedule and can lead us toward making more positive life style choices.
  • The benefit of acquiring effective stress management techniques is that they provide us with more choices in how we respond to stress.

Stress Management Tips

Is your tendency toward perfectionism causing you stress at your job?
Remember that it is better to complete a good quality project on time than to try to produce a perfect product that is incomplete or unlikely to be finished by deadline.

Take a Deep Breath!
Ever wonder why we sometimes say to an agitated person "take a deep breath"? Deep breathing gives us the time to calm down, relax and re-focus. Try inhaling through your nose to a count of 4, filling up your abdomen as you inhale; hold the breath for a count of 4; then exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of 4. Repeat several times. You can try this exercise when you are overwhelmed with stress or as a routine, several times each day.

Did the frown on your boss's face this morning leave you feeling anxious?
Did you think it means that he was not satisfied with your presentation at yesterday's meeting or did you think that perhaps he didn't get much sleep last night? How we think and how we interpret our experiences influence how stressed we feel.

To inquire about individual or group stress management sessions contact MDP today!


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