The Cost of Stress – the Need to Monitor and Manage the Risks!

Written by Graham Yemm

How much attention is paid to one ofrepparttar biggest underlying risk factors within an organisation –repparttar 142525 effects of stress? Not only are there a lot of potential risks arising fromrepparttar 142526 spread of stress within an organisation, it costs them a great deal of money!!

Let us start with looking at some hard-nosed numbers (based onrepparttar 142527 UK.).

  • The CBI estimate that there is a cost of £4bn per annum to industry as a direct result of stress related absence.
  • This figure can rise to over £7bn when you considerrepparttar 142528 loss of productivity!
  • A recent survey byrepparttar 142529 HSE indicated over 550,000 cases of absence as a result of stress, depression and anxiety.
  • A further 66,000 were absent with heart problems as a result of stress.
  • There was a loss of nearly 13m working days in total.
  • The average absence was 28.5 days for stress-related issues.
  • 1 in 5 believe that their job is extremely or very stressful – that is 5 million people!
  • Up to 40% of absence is related to stress.
  • When stressed, performance can be reduced by up to 70%
  • The CIPD estimate that stress costs industry £522 per employee.
Had enough of this? Moving on to think aboutrepparttar 142530 risk of unmanaged stress to organisations we can start by looking atrepparttar 142531 “knock-on” risks.

Where an organisation is suffering from stress problems there will be a number of probable consequences, all with ensuing costs torepparttar 142532 business. Also, what other risks might they contribute to?

  1. Ifrepparttar 142533 atmosphere is getting worse there will be an increase in staff turnover. The costs of this are often overlooked or hidden behind some spurious justification. What isrepparttar 142534 direct cost of recruiting replacements? Oh, andrepparttar 142535 indirect costs? What isrepparttar 142536 cost ofrepparttar 142537 loss ofrepparttar 142538 experience and expertise? Staff turnover disrupts business in many ways and reduces profitability. Simultaneously, costs will increase too!
  2. When individuals are suffering from stress their work performance is likely to deteriorate. The quality of decision making will go down, possibly with faulty judgements being made. What isrepparttar 142539 risk torepparttar 142540 organisation of this? It is probable thatrepparttar 142541 rate of casual errors will increase too – with what consequences?
  3. The relations between people will be effected, forrepparttar 142542 worse! As communication, support or teamworking deteriorate then people will not enjoy coming to work and levels of commitment are likely to reduce. This will probably mean that customer service gets worse too – again, with what consequences? (This will also apply to internal customers as well as external.)
  4. As people become less motivated, and even demotivated, their productivity goes down andrepparttar 142543 impact of that is………?
When we take into accountrepparttar 142544 figures and also these probable knock-on effects, it makes sense to think about managingrepparttar 142545 organisation in a way which will reducerepparttar 142546 potential impact of stress. Indeed, that is a key part of one ofrepparttar 142547 HSE initiatives andrepparttar 142548 introduction of their “Management Standards for Stress.” Although these are not compulsory in themselves, there is legislation around it! There isrepparttar 142549 duty of care and responsibility attached to managers as part ofrepparttar 142550 Health and Safety legislation. This means undertaking risk assessments, creating a positive environment and managing work activity to reduce stress and pressure at work.

Before going further into these, let us consider what is meant by this word, “stress”. The HSE define it as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them.” A simpler option is to think of it as “the internalisation of pressure – where it exceeds your ability to cope.” When we hear people say things such as “We all need some degree of stress”, what is really being said is that we need some level of pressure to galvanise us to action. These pressures can come from all sorts of sources in a work and personal lives – and within ourselves too.

The figure below, “The Pressure Curve” shows what we mean by this. Ifrepparttar 142551 amount of pressure is not high enough, we do not feelrepparttar 142552 need to respond and so performance is likely to be down. (Wonderfully called “rust out” in certain circles.) Have you ever gone into a shop, restaurant or somewhere on a very quiet day? What wasrepparttar 142553 response and service like? This end ofrepparttar 142554 scale can lead to problems fromrepparttar 142555 boredom level!

Getrepparttar 142556 pressure “right” and we are triggered to respond inrepparttar 142557 most effective way – and will operate at our “optimal performance” level. Moving along towardsrepparttar 142558 end,repparttar 142559 pressure levels increase and when this is too muchrepparttar 142560 response is what most people think of asrepparttar 142561 classic stress problem, “burn out”

This rarely just “happens” suddenly. The pressures build up,repparttar 142562 symptoms will become more and more obvious,repparttar 142563 physiological and behavioural clues will be more noticeable. Ifrepparttar 142564 situation does not change, andrepparttar 142565 pressure become more manageable,repparttar 142566 person who is at this end will probably start to become ill asrepparttar 142567 body sends out signals to say it needs to protect itself against this burnout.

The challenge facing managers with this concept is to identify what isrepparttar 142568 “optimal” amount of pressure for each person in their team. We each interpret pressures in different ways. What one of us may shrug off, another will think of as a crisis and vice versa. Add to this, we all have various pressures influencing us which are external to our work. These can range from personal relationships to financial, environmental to practical such as travelling. Then there isrepparttar 142569 human capacity to create pressure on ourselves through having unreasonable expectations or by finding things to worry about over which we have no control! How well do managers know their team members to assess their personal “negative” and “positive” pressures?

Tips For Maintaining Client Relationships

Written by Erich Heintz

You may reprint or publish this article free of charge as long asrepparttar bylines are included.

Original URL (The Web version ofrepparttar 142524 article) --------------------------------------------- ngClientRelationships.htm

Title ----- Tips For Maintaining Client Relationships Customer Relations Is Not Just A "Sales" Function ------------------------------------------------------ Consulting is a service business and engineers, administrators and technicians arerepparttar 142525 heart of it. Sadly, too many of us see customer relations as a “sales” function. Whilerepparttar 142526 sales department can be very effective at generating leads and performing a lot ofrepparttar 142527 up-front work that initiates a customer relationship, long term success depends highly onrepparttar 142528 implementers themselves.

Repeat Technology Services Business -------------------------- Much ofrepparttar 142529 repeat business that I get from clients comes not from “sales” beating them down with phone calls and emails, but by clients approaching me directly to satisfy newfound needs.

I’m proud to say that I have clients who refuse to deal with our sales department for any function other than signing contracts. These customers are no longer looking to be “sold” solutions; they come to me specifically to “buy” them.

If you are content with perpetual strings of one-off projects you can stop reading here. My focus is maintaining long standing relationships that produce reliable revenue streams.

Don’t Be A Drone ----------------------------------- Too many consultants show up, drop in a solution and leave, making no effort to establish a relationship with their client. Get to knowrepparttar 142530 client and their business. Showing an interest inrepparttar 142531 client’s work can not only help you develop a rapport, you may learn something as well. Being able to show up at a site, ask aboutrepparttar 142532 client’s family AND being able to address their kids by name will help establish you as more than justrepparttar 142533 “computer guy”. The “computer guy” is generally about as memorable asrepparttar 142534 “phone guy” orrepparttar 142535 “cable guy”. Be Flexible ---------------------------------------------- Very few consultants are so good that they can get away with a “my way orrepparttar 142536 highway” attitude. There are a few out there and if you think you are one of them you probably stopped reading by now.

As a solution provider, your first effort should bring to your customerrepparttar 142537 best fix for their problem. Whether that fix is hardware, software, policy or procedure, there are almost always client considerations you weren’t made aware of during design. Budget usually lands atrepparttar 142538 top of that list.

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