From work pressure and work stress to work happiness

It is occupational disease number 1: work stress. This is annoying for the employee.

And because this is at the expense of productivity, it is detrimental to the employer. It is therefore good for everyone that you, as an HRM, work on healthy working. How can employees do their work without excessive physical and psychological strain? In this blog you will discover the 5 types of stressful situations. And what you can do to promote job happiness.

As many as 7,555,000 days of absence per year in 2016

First the figures. TNO Monitor shows that in 2016 as many as 1 million employees (one in seven) suffered from burnout complaints. No less than 36% of work-related absenteeism is caused by work-related stress. In total, 7,555,000 days of absence are involved each year. Absenteeism costs for employers amounted to as much as €1.8 million in 2016. Fortunately, the same TNO Monitor shows that more and more employers have a policy to tackle work-related stress.

5 types of work stress situations to watch out for

The question is of course: how do you best tackle work-related stress? Of course by discussing this with the employee at an early stage. However, it is important that you know what kind of work-related stress situation it is. We distinguish five:

Overworked subordinate

Employees need a certain amount of freedom in their work. The freedom to organise one’s own tasks and make one’s own decisions. It is important that the work fits in with one’s own knowledge, skills and interests. However, the reality is that many employees experience too little freedom. The energy leaks out, which causes work stress. If this goes on for too long, burnout is on the horizon. Do you, as an HRM employee, signal such a situation? If so, discuss this with the employee and his/her supervisor at the earliest possible opportunity. What does the employee find important in the job? And how does he or she like to work? A small change can have a big effect.

Persevering despite frustration

You work very hard, but get little appreciation. And certainly no raise or promotion. Of course, that’s frustrating. It saps energy, creates work stress and can eventually lead to burnout or bored-out. The same applies to frustrations about poor communication, pointless meetings, lack of cooperation and unclear job descriptions, for example.

Again, discuss this with the employee and his/her supervisor. What exactly resonates with this employee? And what can you change together?

Slave to technology

Technical resources are useful. Your smartphone and your laptop will make sure you can work comfortably. The disadvantage may be that you can be reached anywhere and anytime. The line between work and private life is blurring. If you’re always on call, it creates stress. This is why the right to unreachability exists in several countries in Europe. For many people, this is a recognizable problem. It is good to make policy on this as an HRM.

Victim of bullying

A little teasing is fine. It is different if an employee systematically feels that he is being bullied. So this is a reality that is experienced. Because what one person considers to be teasing, another person experiences as bullying. The bullying behaviour can range from ignoring and excluding to imitating and ridiculing or even shouting or physical intimidation. Having to perform pointless tasks and deliberate misjudgment also fall under bullying. Research shows that bullying occurs most in the transport, industry and administration sectors and least in education and ICT.The consequences of bullying at work: burn-out, absenteeism and a higher risk of being involved in an accident.

Victim of everything

Some employees complain about absolutely everything. About the job, the boss, decisions being made. This is at the expense of the working atmosphere. Because complaining is contagious. You don’t want that.

Some of these complaints are certainly justified. So take them seriously. Talk it over with the supervisor and with the employee concerned. There are often underlying causes, either at work or in the private sphere. Find good solutions together.

9 tips to promote happiness at work

  • Recognize that there is stress among employeesBurn out Stress Essenburgh
  • Make the situation discussible
  • Find out what pattern keeps the stress going
  • Decide together how you can break this pattern

Break the pattern step by step:

  • Pay attention to people and value them
  • Hand out compliments
  • Celebrate the successes
  • Be flexible where possible
  • Use people’s talents to motivate them

Finally: ensure that you enjoy your work

Job satisfaction is extremely important. It ensures a good atmosphere, better results and less absenteeism. Yet in practice there is often too little attention to it. It is very important to use people for their talents, knowledge, skills and ambition. And also look at everyone’s skills when it comes to atmosphere and sense of community. Older people are relatively good at this. This is partly because they are more balanced and better able to deal with emotions.

Enhancing happiness at work_Essenburgh Training & ConsultancyJob satisfaction is a shared responsibility of the HRM employee, the manager and the employee himself. So, as an HR professional, periodically discuss with the manager how the atmosphere in the team is. If there’s a love-and-pity pot. And whether people know what they are doing. And is something not quite right? Then find the solution together. Ultimately this all contributes to a sustainable personnel policy: a policy that has an eye for vital, flexible, competent and motivated employees. And it contributes to a proper physical and psychological workload.

Read more about sustainable personnel policy

A proper physical and psychological workload is one of the focal points of a sustainable personnel policy. Would you like to know how you can contribute to the continuity of your organisation with the sustainable deployment of (older) employees? You can read it in our free e-book ‘Wise with grey’.

Are there older employees in your organization who will be retiring soon? Or are you curious what else Essenburgh can do for you? Then take a look at our retirement in sight training.

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dr. Pim Valentijn

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