Clearly Defined Staff Roles Increase Business Mental Health
When we become stressed we often become more confused, anxious, tense and irritable. Stress also decrease memory concentration and decision making abilities. Quite literally, we lose our ability to relax and see things clearly.
It is the same for a business! An organisation that is stressed can become distorted in its perception and can neglect important decision making. In the confusion and desperation, the urge to get things done and save the business can overshadow clarity.
This is particularly the case when it comes to clearly defining staff positions and roles, and especially when there has been staff cut backs. Professional boundaries can become blurred and expectations on certain staff members can become unrealistic. Another common occurrence when a business is stressed is that it can neglect to act appropriately when it does become obvious that staff are struggling. Business owners and management are often very stressed and overwhelmed themselves and can mistakenly see stressed staff members as an inconsiderate burden on the company. Important staff issues and dysfunctional interpersonal systems then get brushed under the carpet.
Unfortunately when staff needs are ignored the business only becomes more stressed in the long term. A lack of clearly defined and realistic staff roles and duties is a major contributing factor to staff burnout. A struggling business is only going to find it more difficult to deal with staff sick leave, breakdowns, retraining new staff and accommodating dysfunctional staff dynamics. In fact, it is not unusual for staff to become “scapegoated” as unconsciously it is easier to see the problems as a “difficult staff member” than the decline of a whole business.
This is why it is vital to step back, breathe and LOOK when a business is feeling the pressure! When a business is stress is the perfect time to explore and define staff boundaries and clarify staff positions and roles. As a general rule, the clearer staff positions are defined, and the happier and healthier the staff are, the higher functioning business can be. Business owners and managers who look after their staff and who take responsibility for clearly defined staff roles, tend to cope better in a challenging and unpredictable economic market.
This is just one more action a stressed business can make to enhance its mental health. Next time we are going to look at how to introduce new systems and initiatives into an existing business that is stressed. The more effective changes can be made in a business, the more likely it will adapt to our constantly changing economic market.