No Place for Stress in Teams

In an art class, the teacher asked seven-year-olds to draw pictures of their mothers. One little girl drew a picture of a woman with a laptop. She seemed to be carrying a huge bag. When the teacher asked about the picture, the girl replied, “Mommy is always working on the laptop. Daddy says she carries a lot of stress, but I can’t see it.”

Like the little girl, many of us experience stress, but cannot or refuse to be aware of it – in ourselves or in others. In a workplace, ignoring stress can have detrimental effects at the individual and team levels. In individuals, stress may manifest as minor deviations in behavior or physical symptoms, but then surge into burnout and chronic health issues. Within teams, stress can impact performance, quality of deliverables, team spirit, and turnover. A smart leader would prevent or catch symptoms early and ensure corrective measures.

Team stress checklist
In many organizations, HR teams have checklists that run along these lines:
Have you noticed a recent increase in absenteeism or even presenteeism in many team members? (The latter happens at organization’s expense.) What are the measures taken in such a situation?
Have there been recent dips in overall performance of the team? What do your star performers have to say about this?
Is there an increase in squabbles and arguments in the team? What do you think have triggered these?
Is there an increase in employee turnover?
Do you find changes in team dynamics and behavior following the appointment of a new manager?
Have teams stopped having fun together?



Small steps can beat workplace stress

Monitor: An observant leader can catch early symptoms and effect positive changes. Today, many HRs use tools such as WebNeuro to assess many factors related to self-regulation, emotion, feeling, and thinking. With corrective aids, counseling, and comparative assessments using WebNeuro, building a healthy team can become easier.

Motivate: History suggests that great men use motivation in wars to lead their armies to victory. Beating stress should be relatively easier.

Mitigate: Stress can never be good. Many leaders who recognize this offer adequate means to de-stress. At Mapmygenome, we punch away stress. Encouraging physical health and fitness also pays off – you have a healthier team of better performers. In addition, encouraging self-awareness can help in beating stress.

Given today’s deadlines and high pressure work scenarios, it is important to take steps that can prevent stress at workplace. While many cannot see stress, others find it almost fashionable to be in a stressed environment. Awareness is the key to get started on the journey from “stressed” to “de-stress”. Without awareness, it is difficult to properly assess the situation.

The truth is that humans have an answer for stress - the choice to select a happy thought over the one that causes stress. Sadly, most of us don’t exercise that choice.

But we can.........



Do you Stress

To Impress

Or to express

Life’s difficult chores



Stress is integral

But the choice is yours

The thoughts you think

Make you sail or sink



And in your team

When you pick up the steam

Monitor, Motivate and Mitigate stress

Those are three choices that you can address



And Stress no more

**********************

Webneuro is available at

http://mapmygenome.in/brain-wellness 
 
Anu Acharya

CEO Mapmygenome ( Genomepatri, Slimgene ), YGL- WEF, IIT KGP
 
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