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Understanding Small Business Stress

Understanding Small Business StressIf you are a business owner you may be wondering why you need to pay attention to the issue of Stress. It is very important for you, your family and your business that you take steps to understand and manage your stress. If you are stressed your business will suffer as there are many research studies that show that the most important factor in how productive employees are is their relationship with their supervisor or manager. If you run a small business this is likely to mean you. Even if you run a larger business with a bigger management structure your level of stress will impact your managers and that will impact the rest of the workforce. I have also heard this from unhappy employees many times as their reason for leaving an organization or putting in an expensive “stress” claim against a business.

Stressed employees may give poor customer service, take more sick days, give less “effort” on the job, take longer to do tasks, make more mistakes, and make poor decisions. So if you want to improve the bottom line for your business you might want to start taking a serious look at what you can do to reduce the Stress experienced by both you and the people who work for you.

Generally speaking some common sources of stress in the workplace for employees include

  • The demands of your job can be too much which results to long hours and unable to deliver before the deadline.
  • Sense of uncertainty with regards to the security of the job.
  • Poor match between the job and the strengths of the person doing the job
  • No support from management regarding work issues.
  • Poor relationships with coworkers, supervisors, and managers which can result in feelings of harassment, being treated unfairly,  and not being appreciated.
  • Working environment is below standards and not enough facilities or tools available to do your job properly.
  • Lack of skills to do specific tasks.
  • No opportunity for growth, development or promotion.
  • No recognition or acknowledgement

Managing stress and aiming for efficiency.

Understanding Small Business StressHopefully you can see that it is just not good business sense to try to ignore Stress as an issue, either for yourself or in your business.  The good news is that stress is something that can be dealt with.  There are numerous ways that can help you develop your stress management abilities and give you the opportunity to put the productivity back in your life again. The first step is to recognize and acknowledge that Stress may be playing a role. The second step is to identify the external sources of stress (like those listed above). The third step is to recognize the internal sources of stress (such as our thoughts). It is then important to learn effective strategies to deal with each of these. Change can be a challenge, so getting some external support from someone used to working with these issues is also very helpful.

Then there is the question of addressing Stress in your business. This can require intervention at different levels including policy, leadership and teams. Sometimes the answers can seem counterintuitive as every business is a complex system needing a different approach and through understanding of the problem. The most important step here is to realize Stress may be impacting on the performance of your business by impacting on the performance of your people. Getting  professional advice and improving your understanding of the issues will be a good start.

Running a business takes vision and motivation. You need to be functioning at a high level over a long period to realize the vision of success that got you started on the business journey in the first place. Once you know how to handle stress, you will be better able to deal with the challenges of business and life. If you do not deal with stress effectively it will be very difficult for you to concentrate and feel inspired each day.  Stress can make you feel incapacitated and hinder you to reach your full potential.  Manage stress the right way and you will experience a more satisfying life and be more able to achieve success.

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