Stress Management: is it all about management?

Support organizations are (rightly) concerned about stress. Working with clients experiencing problems takes a lot out of us, but stress management is often considered a private activity, something we need to take care of at the individual level.

What if it was not? What if stress management was mostly a matter of how the team is managed? The Neuroscience of Trust, an article in the January-February issue of the Harvard Business Review, details how common-sense management actions can activate trust and decrease stress. The recipe is simple:

  • Recognize high performance (both the slow-and-steady performers and the heroes).
  • Induce “challenge stress”, not too much but just enough (think about challenging assignements).
  • Give people discretion on how they work (we are often not so great at this in support by scripting interactions top much).
  • Share information broadly.
  • Facilitate social bonding (a nice place to sit and relax would be nice as a start)
  • Show vulnerability

And if you can do all this, you will get:

  • 74% less stress
  • 50% more people planning to stay over the next year
  • 13% fewer sick days

What do you do to provide a trust-based environment? Please share.


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