This article was first published in the Mercury Bay Informer of 24 May 2017. See www.theinformer.co.nz
I was shocked to learn at a gathering of professional business advisors that the biggest health and safety risk in their industry is stress. Even more shocking was that the advisors accepted this fact as unavoidable. While stress is an issue for leaders in most industries I firmly believe that our workplaces should be safe, not just physically, but psychologically as well.
There has been a lot written about managing stress including advice to eat well, exercise regularly, prioritise sleep, and be mindful. Business leaders might also find the following tips helpful in preventing stress from escalating:
- Add some fun to your work day, laugh at the ridiculous, recognise the beauty around you, or do a quiz with your team
- Stay true to your values, articulating them to your staff, customers and suppliers so that they know what to expect
- Have at least one day a week free from work. For some this might mean turning your phone and computer off – what is the worst that can happen if you are not available 24/7?
- Be realistic about your abilities and get help where you have a skill gap. Spending hours doing things you struggle with will sap your energy and could prevent you from reaching your goals
- Build supportive relationships with other business people. Try participating in a business association or having breakfast once a week with like-minded people
Finally, seek professional help if you cannot manage your stress on your own. Let’s choose health by stopping stress from becoming our permanent workmate.