If 80% of us say our biggest source of stress is money and the economy - it's safe to say that stress is showing up on the job. The American Pshychological Association conducted the survey and reached the conclusion.
How can we at least take an edge off that stress at the workplace? Let's spend a few moments looking at how we can feel more secure in our jobs - which leads to less stress.
Open communication is the first step. Take responsibility for your communication actions - and you'll be surpised how others around you will open up. The Better Business Bureau's mission is to build trust in the marketplace. One of the major components of trust is transparency. Openly (transparently) communicating builds trust.
Anxiety and trust are like oil and water. They don't mix. The more trust you have in the people you work with and answer to, the less stress you experience. Talk about your job performance. Talk about new sales. Talk about customer retention. Talk about anything and everything that involves you.
One MAJOR NOTE: Open communication is not an excuse to gossip. Few things will kill trust faster and create more stress in the workplace than gossip. Keep communication fact-based and solution centered. State the problem, but focus on how to fix it.
Asking questions is an important part of the stress-relieving process. Asking questions brings clarity to your work and purpose on the job.
Asking questions and getting honest answers keeps us aware of the here-and-now. It's critical to recognize our current circumstances. Think about your state of mind if you know what's going to happen to you versus not knowing!
Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, talks about the Stockdale Paradox. Admiral Jim Stockdale spent years as a Vietnam prisoner of war. Collins writes about the importance of acknowledging current circumstances. A quote from Admiral Stockdale sums it up:
"This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end--which you can never afford to lose--with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."
Asking the tough questions helps you confront the brutal facts of your current reality.
Then, the little things matter. Kindness, courtesy, saying, 'thank you,' bringing a plate of homemade cookies to the office and offering a compliment are no- and low-cost ways of doing a little extra to show appreciation. Use your creativity. You'll find by going out of your way to do the 'little things' you'll make a big difference. You'll improve your attitude and the attitudes of those around you - which reduces stress.
Business owners and managers who model the above behaviors set the pace for reducing stress. If you're in a job where the boss is not communicating, asking and answering questions or doing the 'little things,' don't let it prevent you from doing the right thing. Remember, we're all in this together.