As the economy continues its downward spiral, almost all of us are feeling the effects. Recent survey results from CareerBuilder found even people earning $100,000 a year were living paycheck-to-paycheck. Times are tough.
Personal financial stress can take its toll on your emotional and physical well-being. And we don’t leave all of that stress at home when we go to work every day. At work there are the normal business challenges, but in addition, there are now economy-related issues that add to stress levels.
With hundreds of thousands of jobs lost this year, employees worry about when they’ll get the pink slip. Plus, many workers are expected to accomplish more with less as businesses cut budgets and staff. Customers and clients are encountering all of the same economic woes, and, as the business owner, you’re struggling with cash flow, lack of credit, decreasing profits, and decisions about possible staff reductions.
When you add up all this stress, it can result in workplace rage. What’s workplace rage? Workplace rage is displayed through various behaviors such as hostility, defensiveness, yelling, emotional outbursts, and even in some cases violence.
So what can you do to avoid workplace rage in your business? First, recognize that these are stressful times and your responses should be tempered accordingly. Listen to what your employees and customers are saying and how they are saying it. Frequently, their anger or hostility has very little to do with the business situation, but rather is caused by the personal angst they’re experiencing.
Even though you’re stressed yourself, try to manage your emotions and stay in control. Don’t forget to say positive and reinforcing things to employees as well as customers. Financial stress can cause depression and a sincere compliment or expression of appreciation can pay huge dividends.
If things get out of control, don’t be afraid to walk away or postpone the conversation. Nothing can be gained by trying to reason with someone whose emotional state is out of control. If it’s one of your employees, let them go home for the rest of the day to relax and calm down. In fact, take a little mental health break for yourself too.