How to Conduct Stress Management Training for Your Organization

Stress is a situation or feeling often experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize or utilize. This definition is according to a psychologist and at the same time professor, Richard Lazarus. Oftentimes, we get stressed if we think that we don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to deal with a situation or problem. In other words, we experience stress when we feel things are out of our control.

Different people handle stress differently in distinct situations. You will be able to handle stress better if you’re confident in your capabilities. 

According to HSE (Health & Safety Executive, UK), the biggest reason for stress, depression, and anxiety among the people of the United Kingdom is the workload at their jobs. About 44% of those surveyed about the causes of stress described their work as the reason for their mental health issues. A Labour Force Survey (LFS) conducted in 2015 and 2016 revealed that 34% of all working days were missed due to work-related stress. 

Stress is inevitable most of the time so managing it is a necessity. With the right tools and techniques, stress can be properly managed so that it can’t negatively affect your productivity, personal life, and your entire well-being. This is where stress management training comes in.

Through stress management training you can proactively mitigate organizational disasters brought by stress. However, before conducting such important training, there are a few things you have to bear in mind.

1. Gather Data About Stress in Your Organization

Take note of seasons or periods where deadlines pile up. It’s the time of the year where tension is high and pressure squeezes up understanding and patience in the workplace. Furthermore, it can also lead to employees getting frustrated and apathetic, or worse, depressed and extremely anxious. Stressed workers who would experience fatigue may commit more mistakes, and are more likely to be absent than unstressed employees.

According to the APA (American Psychological Association), 60% of workers reported decreasing productivity because of stress at work during the past month.  Stress and the related illness and absenteeism costs organizations as much as $300 billion a year. Stress contributes to unhealthy behavior which contributes to health care costs and eventually lost productivity.

 Gathering data is fundamental to the success of the training. 

2. Know More About the Target Trainees

The pressures and demands between work and personal life are separated by thin red lines. The consequences of stress in the workplace come from what is happening to both on and off the job. Knowing the variables such as personal background, hobbies, personalities, etc. of the target trainees are quite helpful in the effectiveness of the training. The training must address the stress and the factors around the stress of employees. It is known that stress is a leading cause of unhealthy behavior resulting in the failure of several wellness programs.

Accepting that stress management is necessary is the first step, yet putting it into action requires some additional exhaustive work. The training you create for your employees needs to be scrutinized based on the unique factors that play into their stress. They may succeed in changing behavior in the beginning yet they will fail to have long-lasting effects on employee well-being if the underlying stress isn’t alleviated or addressed.

3. Include Stress Debriefing Sessions in Your Training

Debriefing is a report of a mission or project or the information so obtained. By reviewing the actions you have taken in a structured manner and ensuring intervention in the process, you approach a situation with logic which leads to reduced stress. 

When it comes to stress, psychological debriefing is usually used to alleviate the effects of stress. Stress left unchecked and unattended can lead to health problems like headaches, digestive issues, poor sleep, and a weakened immune system, and mental health problems. Moreover, these can possibly have long-term effects on the lives of the significant people that are necessary to the success of your business.

Debriefing sessions in the training usually include sessions wherein attendees are provided a chance to talk about the trauma with others who were involved. In these sessions, emotions and thoughts are being processed. These sessions are therapeutic and gradually ease stress. 

4. Collect Feedback on How to Provide a Stress-Free Environment

Communication lines need to be open and the atmosphere must be conducive for employees to freely express their struggles.

Employees obviously have to balance challenging workdays and the problems that normally happen in life. It’s important they feel comfortable coming to you especially when they need help.

Surveys can illuminate blurred areas. Send out an anonymous survey specifically requesting feedback on the causes of stress in the workplace. It is also a great initiative to review absence records and notice if there are significant patterns.

5. Incorporate Fun and Relaxing Activities During Training

 According to the 2012 American Psychological Association (APA) study, Stress in America, highly stressed people experience the following:

  • 30% less likely to have healthy eating habits 
  • 25% less likely to do exercise
  • 200% less likely to succeed at weight loss programs 
  • stressed people get half as much sleep compared to less stress-out people. 

Proactive stress management is a critical factor for successful wellness programs. Incorporating fun and relaxing activities in the duration of the training helps a lot in striking the balance between training and relaxation. 

Comprehensive, integrated, and diverse programs are more successful than single-issue programs. Employees who participate in smoking cessation or weight loss programs may have initial success but often revert to old behaviors because willpower alone will not suffice to change ingrained and habitual lifestyle choices. Integrating activities that are fun and relaxing may also help in addressing other factors that contribute or might play a great role in the recovery from stress.

The World Health Organization exclaimed that stress is “the health epidemic of the 21st Century.” Therefore conducting health management training is timely and apt to thrive in this fast-paced generation. 

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About the Author: Editorial Team