Why learn how to manage stress and emotions?
Susan’s quality control team doubled in size when her peer was laid off in a company downsizing event. Now Susan’s team is responsible for the quality of all items produced in her home manufacturing plant, and she’s been tapped to lead a quality team for the manufacturing facility 250 miles away, too.
Susan is a single mother of two who can’t afford to lose her job, but finding an overnight sitter for her school-aged children when she travels to the other facility is almost impossible. Susan’s manager has resisted her suggestion that they promote a local quality manager at the other facility to help her keep an eye on production without the necessary travel. Her cell phone is constantly abuzz with calls and text messages, and she’s finding it hard to schedule family time into her day.
Susan is experiencing chronic and persistent stress, and she’s not alone. Chances are that she, like other workers on whom increasing demands have been placed, will cave under the pressure and suffer a breakdown. Or she’ll become too sick to work, or burn out, or leave the company while she still has her mental and physical health. No matter what the result, organizations will pay handsomely in terms of lost productivity, health care costs and more.
Workplace stress costs organizations money, and companies that can manage that stress through organizational changes, savvy management and employee support will be more successful than those who don’t. Understanding stress, where it comes from, and the levers managers can pull to alleviate it can make a huge difference to an organization’s productivity and profitability.