The main sources for workplace anxiety, according to a recent American Institude of Stress (AIS) study, are unmanageable workload, interpersonal issues, the ole work/life balance, and job security fears. AIS reported 80 percent of American workers are stressed on the job and 92 percent of the anxiety related to working on a team.
AIS defines workplace stress as “the perception of having little control but lots of demands.” When Venture Up is hired to work with a stressed out team, rarely does the team we meet match up to the meeting planners description. Why? Because the team is taken out of the work context. There is a huge difference between a neutral party, Venture Up, running a program to build relationships and in-house HR staff attempting to do the same.
“In many cases, employees simply do not trust HR,” says Mason Lengyel, program director of Venture Up. “They tend to believe that HR is on the company’s side, vs. in their corner,” he says. When the same company outsources a group such as Venture Up to improve team relationships, they wall of mistrust breaks down. “Venture Up leaders are not seen as a threat, or as judgmental or authoritarian figures examining employees’ every move,” Lengyel says.
“We set the stage for a relaxing natural environment where the same colleagues who may face challenges at work, interact in new, fun ways and find it’s a lot easier working when not under the company’s pressure.”
Giving Employees Control
When employees feel in control, the perception of their responsibility shifts to something they feel they can manage. Micromanaging is the enemy of empowered employees. Managers of teams must take a leadership role in respecting team members as individuals. Here are tips to put your staff in control and making your job easier:
1. Meet individual team members on a regular basis, at least every two weeks. Not only will your staff feel more accountable, you will receive valuable feedback as to what’s going on beneath the radar.
2. Involve team members in decisions relating to their projects and department in general.
3. Reinforce company values and practice what you preach
4. Instill leadership in employees by pinpointing a key talent in each individual and assigning each of them individual tasks to contribute to the team.
5. Establish a timeline for the project. The bi-weekly meetings will keep you apprised if the team is on schedule or going off track and gives you a chance to address any obstacles to get them back on track.
6. Define work-life balance. The term means different things to different people. Find out what it means to each individual on our team and acquire feedback as to how the workplace and team environment can help them achieve their goals. In many cases, a separate team project not working-related, such as the same team working on a community project on company time, is as therapeutic for their own relationships as for the people in the community they serve.
Solving problems together is at the heart of teamwork. To inspire your team and give everyone on it an important role, a team building event with Venture Up can help give you valuable feedback as well as strengthen workplace bonds.