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Mastering Stress Management: The Hidden Power of Soft Skills Training

  • By Sheldon Kawarsky
  • July 31, 2023

workplace stress management

Are your workplace stress levels spiralling out of control? Soft skills training might be the answer if you’re looking to combat unhealthy stress levels in the office and improve your employees’ mental health. By teaching employees how to manage their emotions better and develop their communication skills and interpersonal abilities, employers can create an environment where both team morale and productivity are elevated. Read on to learn how soft skills training for employees can improve workplace stress management.

Common Causes of Workplace Stress

Stress in the workplace is incredibly common, affecting employees of all ages, genders, and job positions. While the specific causes of stress may vary depending on individual circumstances, there are several common themes that can lead to employee burnout and stress in the workplace.

According to LifeWorks, approximately 26% of Canadians attribute their stress to work-related factors. These stressors primarily include overwhelming workloads (25%), high-performance expectations (14%), and insufficient support (12%).

Other causes of workplace stress include:

  • Lack of control or no say in the direction of their work or workplace
  • Interpersonal conflicts, such as tension with colleagues or a difficult manager
  • Changes in the workplace environment or company processes
  • Lack of recognition
  • Job insecurity
  • Poor work-life balance

While it’s important for employers to address these stressors and provide adequate stress management in the workplace, many employees feel that their companies aren’t doing enough. In fact, a recent poll conducted by Robert Walters showed that a significant majority of employees (62%) are dissatisfied with their employers’ efforts in managing workplace stress. Conversely, only 14% of respondents felt their company’s initiatives were sufficient.

Why Is Stress Management in the Workplace Important?

As the saying goes, “work hard, play hard.” However, in the fast-paced world of today’s workplace, it can often feel like it’s work harder, stress harder. Workplace stress can be detrimental to employees’ mental health and performance, which is why stress management in the workplace has become increasingly important in building a positive work culture.

More employers recognize the benefits of implementing strategies to help reduce employee stress levels. These strategies can include everything from flexible scheduling and access to mental health resources to clear communication and goal setting.

By prioritizing stress management in the workplace, employers can create a healthier and more productive work environment where employees can develop better-coping mechanisms, maintain good mental and physical health, and ultimately achieve greater job satisfaction.

How Do Soft Skills Contribute to Effective Stress Management?

Effective stress management is essential for achieving a healthy work-life balance. While coping mechanisms such as meditation and exercise are undoubtedly important components, soft skills training is equally significant.

Communication Skills

Effective communication skills are essential for successful stress management. Communicating clearly and effectively helps individuals better understand and manage their own emotions, as well as those of others. It also allows individuals to express their needs and feelings positively, which can help reduce stress levels.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s emotions and those of others. Individuals with high emotional intelligence can better identify their triggers for stress and develop strategies for managing them more effectively. They are also better equipped to empathize with the feelings of others, which can be helpful when dealing with difficult people or situations that may cause stress.

Resilience Skills

Resilience training enables individuals to bounce back from stressful events more quickly and move forward without getting stuck in negative thought patterns or behaviours. Additionally, resilient individuals tend to be less affected by stressful situations in the first place due to their ability to view them in a more positive light and take proactive steps toward resolving them.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution involves understanding the root causes of conflict and developing strategies for addressing them in a constructive manner. By learning how to resolve conflicts quickly and peacefully, individuals can better maintain healthy relationships with those around them, which can help reduce overall stress levels.

Time Management

Time management skills contribute significantly towards effective stress management. Poor time management often increases stress levels due to feeling overwhelmed by deadlines or struggling with too many tasks at once. On the other hand, having good time management skills can help individuals prioritize tasks, create realistic timelines for completion, and stay organized.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Adapting to changing circumstances or unexpected events helps individuals remain calm under pressure and handle difficult situations more effectively without becoming overwhelmed by anxiety or fear of the unknown. Similarly, being flexible allows individuals to adjust their plans without feeling frustrated or stressed.

Problem-Solving and Decision-Making

Problem-solving skills help individuals identify potential sources of stress and come up with solutions that can reduce or eliminate them. Additionally, making decisions quickly and confidently can help employees better manage their time and resources, which can help reduce stress levels.

Interpersonal Skills

Having the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with others can help employees better understand the source of their stress, as well as improve their teamwork skills. Also, strong interpersonal skills can help build relationships based on trust and mutual respect, which can be invaluable when dealing with stressful situations.

Change Management

Change management involves understanding how change affects different areas of a person’s life and developing strategies for adapting to it positively. By learning how to successfully navigate change, employees are better equipped to handle the challenges that come with it.

Explore Our Stress Management Programs for Your Organization

Stress can have a significant impact on our physical and mental well-being. That’s why it’s crucial to manage it effectively. Thankfully, The Soft Skill Group (TSSG) offers stress management programs to help individuals navigate workplace and personal stress. The programs focus on teaching practical techniques that can be implemented in everyday life to reduce stress levels and promote overall wellness. From mindfulness practices to time management strategies, participants will gain knowledge and skills to make them more resilient in the face of stress. Contact us today to learn more.

Sheldon Kawarsky

Sheldon has over 20 years of experience holding manager and director roles in the private and academic sectors, focusing on business development and fostering relationships with companies, universities, government organizations, and venture capitalists. His strength is in relationship building and clarifying the needs of clients to ensure their training maximizes their return on investment.