New E-Zine article asking what makes stress training effective (or not).
In the businesses, NGOs and government organisations I work with there are two kinds of people -those who admit there is stress in their lives and those in denial. Both may suffer but the latter cannot address what is a crucial workplace issue (in the UK the Health and Safety Executive make it a legal requirement for employers to address it is considered so important irrespective). Happily macho attitudes are dying out as people realise the impact stress can have on health (most of the Western World killers are stress related), efficiency/productivity (studies show that stressed people DO NOT work well) and relationships at work and at home.
Stress training is becoming recognised by businesses as valuable as if done well it decreases staff turnover (churn-rate), increases effectiveness and reduces absenteeism. As well as being an ethical stance, providing stress management saves organisations money. What then are some of the barriers relating to stress training? Aside from prejudicial attitudes that stress can make one weak there is also a misconception that people work well stressed. Some positive arousal or eustress can of course be beneficial – but most people in modern organisations that I see are well beyond this daily and working on adrenaline and heading towards burnout. The concept of “sustainable working” is often a useful one for managing stress, as is the distinction between “live relaxation” (like an athlete) and “dead relaxation” (like a unconscious drunk).” CONT