April 17, 2012

Job Stress Hurts Your Company

By Paul Bieber

And you can help it!

I recently read a survey that says most people leave current jobs because of too much stress, not money or growth potential. Stress, not matter how much you make, or how far you can climb on the ladder is the weak link in establishing a stable company.

Are you a ‘yeller’? Maybe a ‘screamer’.  This may be your style, and it may work, but you are paying for it with increased turnover.  Yes, you have problems at work; in this economy who doesn’t?  But belittling employees won’t solve the problems.  It only exacerbates them.  The employee you gently ask to do something, even if there is an urgent tone in your voice, will start ASAP.  The one you yelled at will take 30 minutes to fume and complain to their coworkers.

It’s way off-base to think that since you pay your crew that you have the right to attack them personally.  You can and should comment on their working skills and output, but don’t make it personal.  For instance, look at these two ways: 

  • Paul, you are one dumb son-of-a-B.  Why can’t you get this right?  I’ve told you three times how I want it done.  No go back and do it right or start packing your bags!
  • Paul, I just looked at the report you did, and I am still a little confused.  I thought we had agreed on the format.  Let’s look at it one last time.

It sure is easy to yell when you are upset at an employee, but it does no good.  The employee will get defensive, you will say something you regret later on, and still the work doesn’t get done.  You have stressed yourself as well as your employee.

People want to come to work where they are appreciated.  Where they are not appreciated, there will be more sick days, more arrived late and leave early days and lower productivity.  You can’t pass stress down the line.  In tough times your employees know the score.  You don’t have to remind them that they are lucky to have a job with you.  If you ask them to share your pain now, are you ready to share the profits when times turn around?  I’m sure that some of you do, but I know many who don’t.

Treat your employees as you would your mother-in-law, wait a minute, that doesn’t work.  Treat your employees as people, not as tools in your shop.  I promise your life and your company’s future will be better off for it.

The stress is all yours…that’s the price of being an entrepreneur or a manager.