Stressful Times Call for Dignified Measures

The current state of the economy isn’t exactly reminiscent of beaches with blue-green waters and glorious sunsets. In fact, it’s more like the mall at Christmas time – – stressful. This weak economy makes it tough to manage effectively without acknowledging the mass amount of stress involved. A recent article from Talent author Frank Kalman provides a few tips on how to manage effectively through these stressful times.

With the headlines raving of unemployment, the focus has shifted away from those who are still employed in such a tumultuous workforce. These workers are now doing more work with less workers, creating more out of less, and their employers are demanding more than they ever have before. Not to mention the prospect of layoffs always on the not-so-distant horizon. This definitely puts more stress on today’s workforce and creates a work environment that is riddled with stress.

A recent survey conducted by Workplace Options notes that 62 percent of U.S. workers say their employer is trying to do more with less as a result of the bleak economy. Stretching resources, holding off on hiring and assigning as much work as possible to each employee are a few ways that employers have found to do more with less. Of those surveyed, 55 percent reported taking on additional job duties due to the recession and 70 percent have done so without a pay increase.

Donna Hicks, a psychologist, business consultant and associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Conflict at Harvard University wrote a book titled, “Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict”. In her book, she outlines 10 elements of dignity that managers could practice within the workplace to make it an overall better environment for the organization. Those 10 elements are as follows:

1. Honoring identity: Accept employees’ identities that are different from yours.

2. Recognition: Value employees, give them credit for their hard work and be generous with praise.

3. Acknowledgment: Validate and respond to employees’ concerns and what they’ve been through as a result of new stresses or an increased workload.

4. Inclusion: Make all members of a workforce feel as if they belonged when drawing up meetings.

5. Safety: Employees may feel afraid to speak up whey they feel overworked or that their dignity is being violated.

6. Fairness: Be fair in addressing stressful issues that may arise.

7. Independence: Empower employees to act on their own, so they can feel in control of the work they do.

8. Understanding: Believe what others think matters and seek deeper understanding of your employees’ perspective on things happening at work.

9. Benefit of the doubt: Treat employees as though they have a good reason to do what they do in the workplace, and that they are acting with integrity.

10. Accountability: Apologize when you, as a manager, have wronged others and commit to changing hurtful behavior.

Showing dignity in your management style can improve the overall workplace. When you act as an example that your employees are proud to follow, the environment in which you all work together becomes less stressful. This can help the overall success of the organization, not to mention boost moral among employees when they feel appreciated and important. Your demeanor is contagious … spread dignity and positive energy to your employees. To read the full article, click here.

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