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Sources of Stress

Leadership Tips

Most employees go into work with the intention of doing the best job they can. As a manager, your goal is to create an environment in which employees can thrive so that they can provide the best work or service possible.

There are 5 common workplace stressors that employees face on a regular basis:

Stressor 1: Tough workload

  • Tight or multiple deadlines
  • Conflicting priorities
  • Excessive multitasking
  • Being given too much responsibility (or even too little)
  • Large, complex projects
  • Unpleasant, redundant, or meaningless tasks
  • Unrealistic goals and expectations; constantly changing or stretch targets
  • Too much overtime
  • Lack of work-life balance

Stressor 2: Tough teamwork

  • Unclear roles
  • Incompetent team leader or project manager
  • Lazy team members
  • Personality clashes, abrasive teammates
  • Differences in skills or work pace
  • Uneven or unfair task distribution
  • Being forced to collaborate with others

Stressor 3: Toxic work environment

  • Massive layoffs
  • High turnover
  • Company restructuring or mergers
  • Being criticized on a regular basis, or not getting any feedback at all
  • Constant conflicts with customers, co-workers, or management
  • Micromanagers or managers who lack people skills

Stressor 4: Poor job fit

  • Gaps between an employee's skills and the requirements of the position
  • Undeveloped skills (e.g. time management, risk-taking, communication, emotional intelligence)
  • Moral dilemmas (working in a company that makes products that can harm people or the planet)
  • Incompatible values (e.g. a competitive, ambitious person working in a non-profit organization)

Stressor 5: Employee insecurities

  • Job insecurity
  • Not making enough money to cover cost of living
  • Having to face serious consequences for errors
  • Being passed on for a promotion
  • Being demoted or taken off a project
  • Low self-confidence and sense of self-efficacy
  • Social awkwardness
  • Not feeling part of the team

You will not be able to control all of these factors, but you can work to reduce or mitigate the effects of at least some of them.

Next Steps