Workplace Stress: This Makes the Difference

appreciation organizational culture workplace stress

Are you and your team experiencing workplace stress? This simple, repeated act could make all the difference. 

A couple of weeks ago I created a video called "Do You Feel Like a Failure at Work?" It was prompted by a customer who said to me, "Half the time I think people are leaving because they can't get everything done and they feel like failures. When you feel like a failure on a daily basis, you don't want to stay." 

This got me thinking about my own story and what pulls me out of that failure funk. Here's the deal: Being an entrepreneur is no easy task. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love what I do, the people I do it with and for, and that I'm passionate about the red carpet mission and message. 

Yet, there have been days in my 20-plus-year career where I have felt like throwing in the towel. I've dealt with cash-flow issues, team member turmoil, delayed projects, one really difficult customer, embarrassing mistakes, worldwide pandemics, and more. I've had my share of celebrations and tears. I've come close - a few times - to giving it all up and getting a job with a steady paycheck. 

During those times there has been one thing that has consistently kept me hanging in. 

It's you!

It's you when you're on the phone with me and you tell me how something I've written, done, or said made a difference in your life or your workplace.

It's you when you send me a supportive email or note card or text.

It's you when you make an introduction to a potential customer and tell them how much you appreciate my mission and message.

It's the positive reinforcement I get from you that reminds me that I am doing something good and important and full of light that the world so desperately needs! 

So, now let's talk about your team. They are feeling workplace stress. They are overwhelmed and they may have forgotten about the importance of their work and the difference they are making to your customers, their workmates, and the world at large. 

It's time to double down and remind them. Individually and with specific, repeated touches. This is not time for a group "we appreciate you" and a pizza party! No. Pick up the phone and make the call. Send the text. Write the card. Shoot a reinforcement video message. Let EACH person know what you notice and how essential their work is.

While you're at it, spend some time listening. Ask how you can help. Get their ideas to take some of the pressure off so they can feel balanced again.

When it comes to workplace stress, it's often the little things that will be the difference between persevering and walking out to find another opportunity. 


Donna Cutting is the author of Employees First! Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the HEART of Your Organization.




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