I’ve recently been redesigning some materials for the business stress management training courses I lead and have been using the UK HSE “management standards” and the CIPD’s framework for line managers. These are both good solid benchmarks for stress training in the UK but are hard to remember and not much fun. In this article therefore turn them on their heads and recommend ways to send employees crazy…
How to Increase Employee Stress
– Leadership Skills for Evil Managers
In general to drive people crazy a manager should create the following high stress working environment:
- Role role clarity – Don’t let anyone know what they are supposed to be doing then punish them for not doing it!
- Job Demands – Just keep upping these as you reduce resources and increase stress!
- Control – Don’t give employees any control!
- Change Management – Keep people guessing! Never tell them about your many changes until the last minute.
- Support – Do not give this and provide structures which discourage it amongst employees. Divide and conquer!
- Relationships – encourage conflict and bullying every chance you get!
Stress Management…Managing it Up!
The following factors have been shown to be significant traits and skills for increasing the stress in direct reports and sending people insane:
- Low Integrity – Don’t build trust. Be dishonest
- Poor Emotional Management – Be moody and panicky to build workplace stress. Make sure to pass on your own stress
- Dictator Style – Employee engagement is for wimps!. Gives negative feedback or non eat all.
- Reactive Work Management – Don’t plan or monitor workload. have poor time management
- Problem Solving Skills – These are also for wimps
- Conflict Management Skills – There is no stress when your enemies are dead! Unresolved and aggressive conflict is what work is all about
- Company Resources – Hoard or ignore these and treat other departments as idiots an competitors
- Personal Responsibility andAccountability – Also for wimps. Lie, back-stab and get away with things
- Inaccessibility – Beanti-social and aloof
- Uncaring – Never give empathy it only encourages stressed people!
Scoring Your Boss for Stress
This article is clearly a bit of fun, so please don’t do it or sue me because your boss read it. What is not so much fun is life for the many people I know for whom this is not a joke – mental health problems caused by stress are a major problem in the UK in terms of personal suffering and financially (estimates of £1035 per person per year- from*). So how many of these 16 stress inducing behaviours does your manager score on? Give them a point for each bullet point that applies to them and compare results
with a friend.
If you’re interested in stress at work I would also recommend the research done by the *Sainsbury Centre for Mental Heath and Shift’s line manager resource and videos from The Department of Health. Integration Training’s own stress training is here.