Handling Job Stress, seeking Counselling, providing Mentoring
Over the last few decades, jobs have become increasingly demanding as employee responsibilities have escalated as a result of retrenchments and divisional changes.
Whether one is in sales and marketing, administrative jobs, manufacturing, policy making, security forces or logistics, every area of work has become more challenging. The rising competition in every area of consumable products or services has also added to the mix.
Previously whatever was produced could easily be consumed, as consumers were plentiful and choices were limited. Subsequent to the advent of information technology (IT) we are increasingly faced with access to large data loads and a plethora of networks.
Internally, we seem to face a never-ending task of accumulating data and pass it on to our seniors along a chain of information which carries on up to CEO level. Whatever the process, be it manufacturing to retail or consumer workflows we are required to expedite data at a high-rate of speed, with the added stress of fighting or keeping up with the competition, as finance departments keep a beady eye from behind.
Besides professional issues, we are simultaneously faced with the pressures of meeting family expectations, educating our children, handling later working hours and still trying to juggle compatibility with our spouses.
Those organisations who offer support to employees usually encompass a Human Resources (HR) department and many have evolved to the point of offering a gym-room, breakroom and healthy meals during working hours, financed pleasure trips and team-building event, along with regular health checkups.
Day to day, employees are faced with different interpersonal situations, and all too often some are simply unable to handle an untoward situation, problem or misunderstanding, resulting in them finding difficulty in completing an urgent task. This can have a de-moralising effect on all involved and ultimately compromises employee performance. These are ideal situations for an aware and seasoned manager to step in and offer counselling.
The objective of counselling is firstly to make the employee comfortable, and reassure him that he/she is not alone. A few specific questions and their responses will lead to diagnosing the situation. The mature counsellor can then motivate the employee to solve the situation himself by suggesting a specific action plan. This takes care of the issue at hand and also leads to the employee feeling confident enough to handle any other issue in the future.
Counselling can improve self-esteem, commitment and competence level and is an effective and cost-effective tool to correct an employee who is demotivated and is finding himself incapable of handling a situation or conflict in the work place.
Every individual who has a desirable qualification, and who has successfully emerged from their interview process has potential to perform and grow. The job of employee’s immediate superior remains in having the skills to identify the employee’s true potential areas and learning attitude in order to provide continuous mentoring on the job
Mentoring is a process which sees cohesiveness between listening and learning in order to reflect greater results. It sees a synergy in relationship among two or more individuals within a process that achieves more than any one individual is capable of.
Communication is an important attribute of the entire process of mentoring. Since mentoring is usually a time bound programme, there should be regular meetings and an exchange of views, with the mentor updating himself on the concerned employee’s work areas, so that he can answer the challenges faced by the participants in the process.
Mentees are also responsible for absorbing the learning while taking pleasure in their work and being able to discuss openly their fears and doubts.
The effective management of job stress, counselling and mentoring go a long way in enhancing on the job performance and overall improvement in employees personalities which in turn increase quantative performance.
If a few simple, yet effective support practices were adopted by most working places, a vibrant society would emerge, which would be beneficial for families, societies, and countries around the globe.