Discover the insightful expertise of Lista Smith, the founder of Unscramble Me, as she delves into the often daunting task of exploring stress and anxiety. Gain a deep understanding of their distinctions and unlock powerful tactics to regain control over overwhelming experiences. Join us on this transformative journey towards conquering stress and reclaiming inner peace.

Lista Smith, founder of Unscramble Me


How can I help as a leader?

There are several ways you can help a team member who is showing signs of mild anxiety. Here are some suggestions:

  • Create a safe and supportive environment: Let your team member know that you are there for them and that they can come to you if they need support. Make it clear that you value their well-being and that you want to help them succeed.
  • Listen actively: When your team member comes to you with concerns or worries, listen actively and without judgment. Allow them to express themselves fully and validate their feelings.
  • Encourage self-care: Encourage your team member to prioritize self-care activities, such as exercise, healthy eating, and getting enough sleep. Offer resources or support to help them prioritize self-care.
  • Offer flexibility: If possible, offer your team member some flexibility in their work schedule or workload to help them manage their anxiety. This could include adjusting deadlines, reducing workload, or offering remote work options.
  • Provide resources: Provide your team member with resources such as mental health hotlines, counselling services, or other support programs that may be available through your organization.
  • Be patient and understanding: Remember that anxiety can be a challenging condition to manage, and recovery is often a process. Be patient and understanding with your team member and provide ongoing support and encouragement.

It's important to note that if your team member's anxiety is severe or interfering with their ability to function, it may be necessary to encourage them to seek professional help. You can offer support in finding resources or making a referral to a mental health professional.

So, back to stress

All organisations have a moral obligation to ensure employee wellbeing, we want our people to be well and thriving, but if that wasn’t motivation enough, reduced productivity will be seen in the workforce in two ways. The first and most obvious is due to sick leave and, the second is that there is a direct correlation between higher stress and lower productivity. In turn this of course leads to reduced employee engagement, increased staff turnover and even a poorer customer experience for the organisation’s customers.

How can we help people when it comes to stress in the workplace?

There are generic things that we can help employees build habits around including good screen/ phone habits, good sleep, eating well, exercise and fresh air, taking time for yourself and connection with others. But the one which I have identified which can see tangible results quickly is helping employees to get clarity and order across everything.

When teams are managing a lot of priorities and stakeholders, overwhelm can quickly take hold. Here are a few practical suggestions to combat the overwhelm, which is often what comes first, with your team.

  1. Prioritise: Encourage your team to prioritize their tasks based on urgency and importance. This will help them focus on the most critical tasks first, which can reduce the feeling of overwhelm. Perhaps a weekly get together for 15 minutes each Friday where everyone talks through their priorities for the week ahead?
  2. Break tasks into smaller chunks: Encourage your team to break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. This can make the task feel less daunting and help them make progress towards their goals.
  3. Create a clear roadmap: Work with your team to create a clear roadmap for their work. This can help them stay focused and organised and reduce the feeling of overwhelm.
  4. Have simple, clear ways of working embedded in the team: Having ways of working crystal clear can be a huge step towards making sure people are clear on what they are doing and how to do it.
  5. Encourage open communication: Encourage your team to communicate openly about their workload and any challenges they may be facing. This can help identify potential issues before they become bigger problems. Regular 1:1s can really help catch this before an issue arises.
  6. Provide support and resources: Make sure your team has the support and resources they need to manage their workload. This could include additional team members, training, or access to tools and technology that can streamline their work.
  7. Take breaks: Encourage your team to take regular breaks and prioritize self-care. This can help reduce stress and prevent burnout.
  8. Celebrate successes: Recognise and celebrate your team's successes, even small ones. This can help boost morale and motivation and reduce the feeling of overwhelm.

Overwhelm is a common experience, especially when managing a lot of priorities and stakeholders. By providing support, resources, and open communication, you can help your team manage their workload and really reduce the feeling of overwhelm.

I work with organisations to help teams be more effective and improve wellbeing – you can contact me at [email protected] or have a look at my website for more information.

Thank you for this fantastic advice Litsa!

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