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06 Oct 2020

Managers: tips to manage your stress (and that of your employees)

All the studies come to the same conclusion: the level of stress among managers and employees is increasing. A worrying situation further aggravated by the health crisis. The good news is that significant improvements are possible by changing certain habits. Explanations with Doctor Philippe Rodet, specialist in corporate well-being.

employee stress management at work

All over the world, work often rhymes with stress. According to a survey conducted in 143 countries in 2018, more than a third of respondents said they had experienced “a lot of stress” the day before the survey. Another study conducted in the United States even revealed that 75% of the employees surveyed felt that they had experienced burn-out.

“On average, human beings are subjected to around fifty sources of stress every day,” explains Philippe Rodet, a former emergency doctor specialising in the subject. Many are anecdotal, but each one has the effect of reducing recovery periods”. Excessive workload, noise, fears about the future, lack of autonomy or recognition, lack of meaning, unreachable goals, ambient pessimism… the stress factors are numerous. And the health crisis has further complicated the situation. Three weeks after the confinement, 44% of the employees were suffering from anxiety and psychological distress. 20% of the managers even reported high levels of psychological distress. Motivation decreased by 25%.

Start by taking care of yourself

Faced with this bleak picture, there are solutions. “Remarkable progress can be made by paying attention to small things, with short exercises every day,” says Philippe Rodet.

The first essential step for the manager is to understand that he must take care of himself, protect himself from the effects of stress. Lack of sleep, for example, will inevitably have repercussions in his relationship with others.

The specialist then suggests a concrete exercise: hypnosis of good conscience. The principle? Take 3 minutes each evening to assess your stress level. In a dedicated notebook, record separately what went well and badly during the day. Then, at bedtime, we force ourselves to think about the 3 points we consider the most positive. “This simple exercise has the effect of lowering the levels of adrenalin and noradrenalin, two stress hormones.” Another piece of advice: maintain regular and moderate physical activity. Just walk for 30 minutes a day, get out of the metro one station before your final stop… Similarly, stress often increases the craving for sugar and salt when they are already in large quantities in the body in this context. Paying attention to your diet will help to protect yourself!

Actuate the levers adapted to each employee

Reducing the stress of its employees means taking care to decrease their negative emotions and increase their positive ones. There are five to six levers that trigger positive emotions: helping to see the meaning of the mission, knowing how to give the right level of autonomy, expressing gratitude and encouragement, being able to set objectives at the right level, etc. In order to reduce the negative emotions of his staff, the manager will be careful to formulate his reproaches well, to counterbalance those he addresses with compliments, to recognise his behavioural blunders or to be as consistent as possible between what he says and what he does.

Essential point: the challenge is to find which levers to use with which employee, considering his or her personality. Some give more importance to the meaning given to their work, others to encouragement… Managers should not hesitate to identify with the employee the levers according to the realities of his or her position and professional project. They can then prioritise them together. Because be careful, Philippe Rodet warns: “we have a natural tendency to think that what we are most sensitive to is also what affects the person next to us… But this is not always the case! “A detail that is far from being anecdotal to make your team more dynamic!

Managers: 5 tips to curb stress in your company
1. Start by taking care of yourself physically
2. Practise hypnosis of good conscience
3. Determine to which levers each of your employees is most sensitive.
4. Take action to increase their positive emotions
5. Be sure to reduce their negative emotions

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