Was working with a client this week who has been bullied at work for six years. The stress she has been enduring is killing her. . . Literally.

Her personality demands an environment where the feelings of all those that work there are taken into consideration, preferably ahead of all other considerations.

Not everyone needs this, certainly not to this degree. Unfortunately she is working for a boss that neither understands this or cares.

If the boss had had everyone complete a personality test and read their reports, they would realise that they are creating a lot pain unnecessarily. They are being totally counter productive.

Trouble is we have businesses full of bosses that are clueless about the part personality plays. They treat people like they were photocopiers.

Shame really because a little insight would have everyone winning.

Even free personality tests could remove a lot of unnecessary stress.

Why Reduce Stress

Well even if you don’t buy “it’s the decent thing to do”, you should at least make the effort to reduce stress in your employees because it’s very unproductive.

Reduce absenteeism

The majority of sickness days are as a result of stress. Someone sitting at home is about as unproductive as it gets. So if you want to reduce absenteeism and have more people turn up to work more often then the tackle their stress issues.

If the single biggest reason people are absent is because of stress, then it stands to reason that this is the first issues you should address.

So less stress means less absenteeism. That’s got to be good for business.

Increase productivity

Even if your staff are showing up every day, if they are stressed then they are nowhere near as productive as they could be. It’s like trying to run your car with two of the HT leads removed.

If you want to increase productivity, in whatever way you measure productivity then you need to remove stress from your staffs work life.

There is an old fashioned idea that stress keeps people on their toes and its the only way to get things done. Many studies have proven this is not the case. At best it’s a short term fix with a long term downside.

If you really want to increase productivity then you need to understand psychology. Human personality is pretty consistent. But different things stress different people. So make sure you understand the personality type of each of your employees and then make sure you are not doing anything that would cause them stress.

How to eliminate stress

Different things stress different personality types. For instance if you have someone from the North East of the personality Map then you are likely to cause them stress if they do not have enough to do. They like to be busy. They would rather have too much to do than not enough. If you are not giving them enough to do then you may be introducing stress in to their work.

On the other hand if they are from the south west then they like to have time to do their work properly. they like time to plan it and they like to be given plenty of notice. If you are dropping new projects on them without notice or are changing your mind at the last minute then you will most likely be introducing stress into their work life.

It’s all about horses for courses. As a line manager make sure you understand the personality of the people you have working for you and modify your approach for each to eliminate stress from their workplace.