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The stress we bring to work: NWRS, Non-work-related stress


While last month we dealt with the major causes of stress at work, it’s also important to recognize which types of stresses we bring to work. “NWRS” involves personal stresses we carry, which then get magnified at work.

We can divide NWRS into three categories:

  1. External Stress originates from relationships with family and friends, our surroundings, personal business dealings with vendors, and many other areas of our personal lives.
  2. Internal Stress includes worries about finances, safety and security, and the ways in which we live our daily lives.
  3. An “out of balance” life. This happens when the various demands of our lives and the demands we place upon ourselves are not in Harmony. Instead, they are competing and fighting with each other.

Let’s examine the “out of balance” life. How much time and attention do we give our children, spouses, or elderly parents compared to how much time we spend on ourselves, that is, our self-care? Or, perhaps we find ourselves constantly “on,”  continuously multi-tasking and living in the vice-grip of technology like smart phones, iPads, TV, and radio.

Other sources of NWRS stress in our lives include our beliefs, opinions and old wounds that we have not learned how to heal from. Many of these stressors keep doing their work on a subconscious level, and we project them onto the people we interact with, both in our personal lives and at work.

Would you believe that many of my clients don’t think they bring their stresses and exhaustion to work? I often hear people say, “I’m very different at work than at home.” Well, it’s my firm belief that we are all “one” person. We may just be a little more careful at work about how we act and react, not letting our complaining and unattractive habits show up as much.

So what is a manager or business leader to do about the NWRS which employees bring to work?

Be aware of it, observe, communicate, listen, be compassionate. But above all, be fair and realistic. And, if need be, point people to the appropriate external resources to get the help they need.

Call me, Coach Hardy, at 603-763-9770 for more guidance, or visit my website.

True or False: Giving Raises in the Workplace

True or False: Giving an “across the board” raise of 5% is the right and best policy, because it treats everybody fairly.

I would say this is false. My experience over many years has shown that this type of policy does not enhance job performance, and it certainly doesn’t motivate employees to give their best. It treats people “equally”, but not necessarily “fairly”.

I recommend that business owners and managers take the time to communicate openly and frequently with each employee about what is going well and what can be changed or improved. When an employee is first hired, it is the manager’s responsibility to spell out exactly what is expected for the position. They need to paint an accurate picture of what  good and superior performance will look like in that position.

Performance reviews and productivity records are useful tools to keep track of each employee’s performance in the workplace, and for deciding on merit raises.
At the end of the day, a raise is one of the incentive tools that encourages employees to excel. It should be used to reward good performance, and never be accross the board.

If you know a business leader who is struggling with making decisions in this area, send them my way. I would be happy to explain more about how raises can be used to increase productivity in a positive way.

Business Partners: Sharing the Workload

I recently met with a business owner who I have worked with in the past. During our first consulting session, his first words were “I am tired…” He started his business 26 years ago. Even though he had three business partners, he still felt burnt out.

So I began to inquire, trying to determine what parts of the business he felt passionate about. I knew that once he recognized one specific area of his business that he loved, he could delegate other responsibilities to his partners.

Over the following sessions, I helped him and his three partners develop a strategy for redistributing responsibilities. Although we were able to fix the workload problem, that was not the heart of the issue.

One of the foundational problems of the whole scenario was lack of communication. The business owner had not communicated his needs with his partners, so they were unable to recognize his struggle.

With the business owner and his partners present, we all developed a communication plan to ensure this sort of problem didn’t happen in the future. Nothing should be withheld in communication between partners. If a need or interest or concern is important to one of them, it will directly affect everyone involved.

Some of the things to watch for are older business owners talking about retirement. They might seem more worn out than usual. When you see these sign and symptoms, don’t be afraid to ask about their plans for the future. If they seem unsure, they might have too much on their plate. Please feel free to send them my way.

Business Partners: Becoming Effective Teammates

Stress in the workplace can be caused by many different things. Perhaps an associate has been newly hired and is having difficulty adjusting. Maybe there is a personal conflict between two staff members. Perhaps you as a business owner are overworked and spread too thinly, or you need a business partner. Or maybe you have a partner, but communication is not what it should be.

What can you do in situations like this? The answer is simple: seek out a business coach.

I have many effective resources and tools, as well as years of experience in starting and growing effective business partnerships. Don’t settle for a stagnant partnership. Learn how each other thinks and operates. Play to your strong points and fill their weaknesses, while they do the same for you.

Don’t waste any more time struggling through a partnership that is benefitting neither person. I will help you view your business partner as a valuable teammate. Both you and your company will soon begin to feel the effects of this harmony as you achieve goal after goal, without any penalties.

Hardy Hasenfuss, Personal and Business Coach

Turn Over That Frown! Find and Keep the Right Employees

Let’s talk about turnover. For those who are not aware, this refers to the rate at which employees leave their jobs and are replaced.

Do you ever wonder why people leave their jobs or get fired? Aside from obvious disciplinary reasons or just having a lousy boss, the primary reason is this: many people are in the wrong job.

In many ways, the cost of turnover is huge for businesses. Many of the individuals who are left behind in these situations find themselves wishing they were somewhere else. When employees are in the wrong job, they will experience a lower level of engagement and consequently, low productivity.

The question is, how and when do I come into the picture as a personal and business coach? When you hear a fellow business owner groaning about their employees, using phrases such as “those people…I can’t ever get them to do their jobs right!”, it is a silent call for help. One which I am happy to answer.

On the other hand, if you are the business leader who is daily witnessing long or unhappy faces in your office or work site, it might be time to give me a call. It is my goal as a coach to boost employee productivity and happiness in the workplace.

Hardy Hasenfuss,  Personal and Business Success Coach

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