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Tag Archives for " workplace stress "

Sep 22

Proven Psychological Strategies that Corporations Should Use to Maximize Peak Performance Among Employees!

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog , Workplace Wellness

I have written extensively about how more and more companies are recognizing that putting health and wellness programs on board ultimately helps their bottom line by maximizing peak performance in employees.  Do you wonder why such programs are directly related to profits?

Nearly One Million Employees Miss Work Each Day Because of Overwhelming Stress

Lost hours due to absenteeism, reduced productivity, turnover, medical, legal, and insurance costs have been estimated to cost $300 billion per year, or $7500 per worker.

A ton of research has now proven definitively that stress is linked to six leading causes of death, including:

  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • suicide

According to the American Institute of Health & Productivity Management, which phrased the term, “Presenteeism,”

There is also a major cost each year due to employees who are at work but not working up to their potential, because of the stressors they encounter.

In our 24/7 global society, stressors abound, both on and off the job. I-phones, instant messaging, and e-mail all are designed to make life more convenient and easier, but they effectively leash us to work and other obligations.  We have become a society of people with OCD as it pertains to looking for information and instant feedback.  This adds even more stress as we constantly fight to keep up with our competition.

Add to this family demands, our pervasive fear of terror striking close to home, and worrying about the future of our Country, constant stress surrounds us.

[Tweet “Learn how to maximize #employee performance by creating a #healthy #workplace.”]

The Emotional Well-Being of Employees has Been Shown to Positively Impact Performance, Absenteeism, Lower Health Insurance Claims, and Enhance Quality Control

Where the workplace can really help is to focus on programs that enhance the well-being of their employees.  Here you have a captive audience, where their company can show a genuine interest in enhancing their emotional well-being.

The American Psychological Association launched their annual Psychologically Healthy Workplace award several years ago in order to give corporations an incentive to develop programs that will help workers to thrive emotionally.  Examples of programs that enhance the psychological health of employees in the workplace are:

  • offering growth and development opportunities
  • innovative employee recognition programs
  • encouraging work-life balance opportunities
  • participative decision-making opportunities
  • enhanced communications and respect between managers and workers
  • offering confidential counseling to employees from well-trained mental health professionals

Companies whose employees achieve peak performance understand that the emotional well-being of their employees is the key to such performance.

To learn more about how to develop a psychologically healthy workplace for your employees, contact me for more information.

Nov 30

Stress Management Tip of the Day: Job Burnout Prevention

By Dr. Jack Singer | Stress , Stress Management

by Jack Singer, Ph.D.
Consulting Psychologist and Professional Speaker & Trainer

[contentbox width=”500″ borderwidth=”1″ borderstyle=”dashed” bordercolor=”000000″ dropshadow=”0″ backgroundcolor=”F5F5F5″ radius=”0″]This is the 1st of a series of cutting edge tips from the field of Stress Management from a stress management expert. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Dr. Jack at 1-800-497-9880 or email him on the contact page.[/contentbox]

Stress Management Tip of the Day from Dr. Jack Singer. Handling Job Burnout.“Burnout” has been defined as “a state of mental or physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.”

Job burnout is an insidious problem in the American workforce, among all levels of employees.  Frequently undiagnosed, burnout may appear in job statistics of absenteeism statistics, in suicide rates, or in the development of chronic illnesses that keep employees from working.  Ultimately, working oneself to death can be the disguise for job burnout.

Job Conditions That Lead to Burnout

The following conditions have been found to lead to burnout.  Obviously, the more of these that a person has to deal with, the more the likelihood of burnout occurring:

  • Heavy workload
  • Long work hours and difficult deadlines
  • Little participation in decision-making
  • Poor communications within the organization
  • Conflicting or uncertain expectations from supervisors
  • Job insecurity
  • Lack of recognition
  • Poor advancement opportunities
  • Minimal support from supervisors or co-workers
  • Unpleasant or dangerous working environments or conditions

Stages of Job Burnout

Now, all of the person’s defenses are worn to a frazzle.  She/he may be overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness and/or helplessness.  A lack of motivation, fatigue, cynicism and even suicidal thoughts may be present, along with major physiological symptoms.  Frequent trips to medical specialists who run many tests and find nothing are common occurrences.

Preventing Job Burnout

Of course, being examined by a mental health professional is a wonderful preventive technique.  But what steps can the employee take in order to avoid the symptoms of job burnout?

  • Feel comfortable delegating responsibility at work
  • Find outlets for frustration, like a brisk walk at noon, reading, listening to music, etc.
  • Become assertive and be able to say “no” to excessive demands on your time
  • Feel good about your accomplishments even if you don’t get recognized by supervisors
  • Avoid excessive alcohol, prescription drugs, nicotine and caffeine
  • Look everywhere for humor
  • Remain optimistic in the face of frustration
  • Learn to organize your time
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Practice good nutrition
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Have a friend, spouse or colleague who is a good listener

Remarkable Resiliency Skills for Uncertain Times 2 CD Set

Created by world-renowned Psychologist and Professional Speaker, Dr. Jack Singer, the “Remarkable Resiliency Skills for Uncertain Times” dual CD series is exactly the same program Dr. Jack Singer has presented to thousands of attendees at conferences all over the world.

With this CD series, you will be able to release yourself from the self-limiting beliefs that have kept you from true joy, health and happiness! Click here to purchase.

 

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

About the Author:

Dr. Jack Singer is a professional speaker, trainer and psychologist. He has been speaking for and training Fortune 1000 companies, associations, CEO’s and elite athletes for 34 years.  Among the association conventions which Dr. Jack has keynoted are those which serve financial planners.

Dr. Jack is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX SPORTS and countless radio talk shows across the U.S. and Canada.  He is the author of “The Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide,” and several series of hypnotic audio programs, some specifically for athletes and some for anyone wanting to raise their self-confidence and esteem. To learn more about Dr. Singer’s speaking and consulting services, please visit  DrJackSinger.com and FunSpeaker.com or call him in the U.S. at (800) 497-9880.

Dec 13

How to Fight Boredom and Become More Motivated at Work

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog

by Dr. Jack Singer

How to Fight Boredom and Become More Motivated at Work by Dr. Jack SingerHaving trouble finding the motivation you need to get things done at work? When you begin an exciting project, it’s easy to find the motivation you need. Maintaining that level of motivation every day, however, can be a challenge. Sometimes, your work is just downright boring!

Just remember that you’re not alone in your feelings. Instead of beating yourself up or giving up, take a few small steps that will boost your motivation and lead you to the success you deserve.

Take Care of Yourself

  • Are there any basic needs in your personal life that need to be addressed? Sometimes, your lack of motivation at work can result from a lack of sleep, proper nutrition, or conflict that drains your energy. Choose to take care of yourself, and your motivation will naturally increase in every area of your life.
  • For instance, if you’ve become accustomed to staying up late and getting little sleep, you’ll drag and lack energy at work. Everyone’s sleep needs are different, but the average person requires 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Make sure you get an adequate amount of rest.
  • Also make sure that you maintain a healthy diet. The food and drinks you put in your body have a huge impact on the way you feel. If you eat poorly at work, you’ll feel lethargic. Also, a diet that’s too strict can make you feel tired, hungry, and irritable.
  • Pay attention to your mental health. Sometimes you can’t find motivation at work because your thoughts are preoccupied with something else. Get to the root of your challenges and seek the advice of friends or loved ones. Choose to nurse your body and your mind so that you’re ready for the challenges of each workday.

Stay Active and Motivated

  • Once your basic personal needs are met, you can turn your attention to fighting the boredom. Ask yourself what you like about your job. Write down as many positive things about your job as you can think of.
  • Then write down the things you dislike about your job. Ask yourself, “What am I willing to do to make it the way I want it?” Focus on solutions instead of problems, and your motivation for success will quickly increase.
  • If you’re bored because your day has become monotonous, seek opportunities to make changes to your daily routine at work. Come up with a new way of doing things. Ask about training programs or other duties you can take on to increase your value to the company and your level of interest in your job.
  • Another powerful approach to stamp out boredom is to seek a mentor. Learn to be the best from someone who performs your job at a high level. Anything is more fun when you’re good at it. A mentor can answer specific questions about your job and help you to find the excitement in every day as well.

Know When It’s Time to Make A Change

Sometimes, boredom is a signal that something’s wrong. You may be in the wrong position to utilize your talents most effectively. Perhaps your employer may be able to direct you to other opportunities within the company that are better suited to your talents, abilities, and interests.

Often, taking part in other hobbies and interests that you’re passionate about on the weekends can cure the boredom you experience on the weekdays. Having something you look forward to can be a powerful antidote to the daily “blahs.” Pursue what makes you happy in your free time and you may find that motivation appears out of nowhere.

Most of all, realize that you deserve success. Set yourself apart from those who settle for the tedious, daily grind. Today, decide to take care of yourself, pursue your passion and make the most of every day at your job. You’ll be glad you did!

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

I am also available for phone consultations with athletes around the U.S. and in-person visits with athletes in Southern California. Call today toll free at 1-800-497-9880 for a free 20 minute telephone consultation with Dr. Jack Singer.

Jack N. Singer, Ph.D.
Certified and Licensed Sport and Clinical Psychologist
Diplomate, National Institute of Sports Professionals, Division of Psychologists
Diplomate, American Academy of Behavioral Medicine
Certified Hypnotherapist, American Academy of Clinical Hypnosis

Nov 12

Overcoming Personality Collisions in the Busy Workplace

By Dr. Jack Singer | Stress , Stress Management

by Dr. Jack Singer

Managing interpersonal conflict in organizations is among the most critical and important skills that employees on all levels of the organization can possess.

Job insecurity, fuelled by the economy, fears of downsizing, mergers and an unknown organizational future, produces fertile ground for the development of low frustration tolerance and conflict. Moreover, personal fears, such as needing to keep up with advances in technology, which is often are viewed as threatening, magnify the potential for anger and frustration in the workplace.

Unresolved or insensitively managed conflict negatively impacts productivity and morale. Ultimately, the bottom line is affected. On the other hand, allowing a conflict to surface and skilfully resolving it can be a platform for enhancing employee trust, team building and creativity.

The good news is that managers, trainers and human resources professionals can easily learn conflict resolution strategies, put them into practice, and teach them to their employees.

The following is a three-step program for assessing and implementing a conflict resolution. This is a proven, successful plan of attack:

Step 1. Evaluating conflict management style

  • Several self-assessment questionnaires have been developed over the years giving people insight into how they react in typical conflict situations.
  • The insight derived from scoring these questionnaires provides an understanding of what “buttons” get pushed when a person is provoked.

Step 2. Identifying conflict management behaviours

People resort to behavioural habits when experiencing conflict with others.

These reactions include:

  • Non-productive behaviours, such as: confronting, dominating, defending, using sarcasm, hostile humour, repressing emotions, insisting on being right, stonewalling, and blaming
  • Neutral behaviours, such as: avoiding, cooling off, apologizing, and giving in or backing off to avoid confrontation;
  • Positive behaviours, such as: active listening, empathizing, disarming, inquiring, using “I feel” statements, and recognizing how your internal dialogue impacts your emotional reactions

The goal is to eliminate negative and neutral behaviours and practice positive confrontation reduction skills until they become new habits. On the average, these skills actually can be learned in only 21 days of concentrated practice!

Step 3. Learning powerful confrontation reduction skills

Active Listening. The key to all interpersonal communications is genuine listening, as opposed to defensive listening, where you plan your retort while the other person is talking to you.

In order to begin to really listen, paraphrase what the other person says in your own words, without judging, agreeing or disagreeing. Listen to and reflect the content, needs and feelings of the other person.

Next, ask for feedback to determine whether you interpreted correctly. If you have not, ask for clarification. Continue this process until you are sure that you have heard what the other person is saying and how he or she really feels emotionally.

Once you are certain that you understand the message and feelings expressed by the other person, respond. The other person then listens and paraphrases for you. This process continues until you have both clarified your positions and are certain that the other person really heard you and understands.

Empathizing. This involves putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and trying to see the world through his or her eyes, taking into account cultural, racial, gender and experiential differences.

Disarming. The fastest way to defuse an argument is to find some truth in what the other person is saying, even if you do not agree with the basic criticism or complaint. For example, saying “I can understand why you feel angry with me since you believe that I started the rumour” acknowledges and validates the angry person’s feelings without actually agreeing with what was said. This opens the door to clarification, feedback and reconciliation.

Inquiring. By asking for clarification of ideas, needs and feelings you signal a feeling of respect and can then work toward mutual understanding and compromise.

“I Feel” Statements. This is a primary skill in interpersonal communications. Expressing yourself with such statements as, “I feel angry because you seem to be avoiding me” is much more productive than the accusatory, “you made me angry and it’s your fault that I’ve had a bad day at work today.” In the first scenario, you take responsibility for your own feelings and share them; in the second, you escalate the confrontation by blaming and putting the person on the defensive.

In addition, you tell the other person specifically what you need that will make you feel good or what can be done to improve the relationship and avoid further misunderstandings and confrontations.

Internal Dialogue. The key to analyzing your vulnerability to being provoked into confrontations is to understand how your automatic thoughts, including your assumptions and conclusions, cause every emotional reaction.

Examples of these distortions are: “I should have gone to work despite being ill” (using should, must, and have to in judging your actions); “My boss doesn’t care about me…only about my productivity” (reading your boss’ mind about what he must be thinking and feeling); “They’ll probably eliminate my job soon” (catastrophising or fortune telling about what negative things will happen to you in the future); and “I’m stupid for allowing this to happen to me” (negatively labelling yourself instead of describing your behaviour as unfortunate or unproductive).

Once you learn about the distortions that are part of your automatic thinking, you can learn how to challenge them and develop more rational, alternative thoughts. The end result is actually dissolving negative emotions and a healthy, more reasonable outlook on every situation in which you find yourself.

Interpersonal conflict is healthy when it brings a rich sharing of ideas, mutual respect and an understanding and appreciation of diverse opinions, needs, and values. Teaching your employees to understand how they traditionally react in conflict situations and how to use confrontation reduction skills leads to greater trust, less stress, more creativity, and can ignite the team. The ultimate benefits are enhanced quantity and quality of products and services!

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

I am also available for phone consultations with athletes around the U.S. and in-person visits with athletes in Southern California. Call today toll free at 1-800-497-9880 for a free 20 minute telephone consultation with Dr. Jack Singer.

Jack N. Singer, Ph.D.
Certified and Licensed Sport and Clinical Psychologist
Diplomate, National Institute of Sports Professionals, Division of Psychologists
Diplomate, American Academy of Behavioral Medicine
Certified Hypnotherapist, American Academy of Clinical Hypnosis

Jun 29

Stress Management Tips: Managing Stress in the Workplace

By Dr. Jack Singer | Stress Management

Now, more than ever people are reporting stress issues in the workplace. Many people are fearful of losing their jobs in the current economy and recent research shows that 40% of the American employees admit that their jobs are very stressful.  Job-related stress in the U.S. has reached epidemic proportions, costing companies at least 300 billion dollars per year. Stress impacts the workplace in the following ways: 47% of reduced productivity and 40% of absenteeism, morale problems, and turnover.

Amazingly, 50% of American workers would not choose same career if they had a chance to start over. On an average work day, more than a million employees are absent because of stress-related problems. The American Medical Association estimates that at least 75% of visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related problems.

These astounding statistics are not only found in the U.S. Stress related problems are the most common causes of sickness absenteeism all over the world. In one study it was found that 13 million work days are lost every year in UK due to stress and related problems.

Causes of Stress in the WorkplaceStress in the workplace

The most frequently cited causes of workplace stress are:

Unreasonable demands for performance

Poor  interpersonal communication between the employer and the employees

Balancing working hours and family time

Under-utilization of skills

Management styles

Job insecurity issues

Stress Management Worksite Programs

Most programs incorporated by companies concentrate on dealing with stress symptoms of employees.  Corporate wellness programs and employee assistance programs (EAP’s) are geared toward teaching employees how to understand the warning signs of stress and how to deal with stress.  Individuals can obtain psychological help and treatment via EAP’s.

But the most beneficial stress management programs are preventive, rather than reactive.  Teambuilding exercises, communications skills workshops, bringing fun to the busy workplace training, trust building and problem solving workshops are examples of proactive programs that eliminate the sources of stress in the workplace.

Preventive stress management has dramatic effects on the bottom line of any corporation.  Health insurance costs, worker compensation claims, absenteeism, poor work quality and substance abuse are just some of the costs that the proactive corporation can reduce significantly.

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

**You have permission to reprint in your publication or to your website/blog any articles by Dr.Jack Singer found on this Website as long as Dr. Jack Singer’s name and contact information is included. Jack Singer, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Pyschologist, Sport Psychologist, Marriage, Family & Relationship Therapist, Professional Motivational Speaker. 800-497-9880.