Are You Causing Second Hand Stress Among Your Employees?
stressed woman hair smoking

Stress can be contagious it is important that you manage your stress well in front of your employees.


Editor’s note: this is part one of a two part series.

There are times and circumstances when experiencing stress can be useful.

Stress can be a motivator to create a change, it can help with mental focus and enhance physical performance. When preparing for a big moment, a performance, speech, test or the like stress has the ability to contribute to improving your performance.

However, stress will become a problem when that stress is repeated or prolonged over time. That includes your own stress or the stress you may be causing to others.

When you are running your own business there can be plenty of reasons to be under stress.

Operating a business, managing employees, negotiating with vendors, staying ahead of competitors, dealing with customers and more are everyday stressors.

If you are not managing your own stress well not only are you putting yourself at risk of negatively impacting your performance, you may be causing second hand stress among your employees which also puts their performance in jeopardy, which increases your stress and the cycle continues.

Understanding when you are not managing your stress well and that your stress can be causing everyone else stress is an important component of being the boss.

As the boss you have to set the example and also proactively create the circumstances that allow everyone in your business to perform optimally.

If you are not managing your stress well optimal performance is not going to be achieved.  And this can cost you.

We have all heard it said many times that most employees leave their jobs because of the experience of having a poor boss.

Many studies have also demonstrated that the biggest cause of stress among employees trickles down from the boss.

According to Jonathan D. Quick

According to Jonathan D. Quick, a co-author of the book “Preventive Stress Management in Organizations” and an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School “The evidence is clear that the leadership qualities of ‘bad’ bosses over time exert a heavy toll on employees’ health”.

A stressful workplace with a bad boss is also often cited as a reason many employees ‘steal’ from the organization, not only stealing money and property but also time in that employees are more likely to call in sick when they work in a stressful workplace.

For all of these reasons and more it is very important that as the boss you regularly consider how your stress is playing out in your organization.

What does being under stress look like?

We understand that stress looks different on different people and different at different times.

Some people manifest stress by withdrawing, demonstrating lower energy, becoming quiet and even depressed. Others under stress can move fast, talk fast, and become loud and even aggressive.

A person under stress may become more demanding or struggle to make decisions or both.

When the person under stress in the workplace is the boss that result in putting everyone in the workplace under stress.

Because stress can be contagious it is important that you manage your stress well in front of your employees.

In part II we’ll cover the following topics; 

What kind of under stress Boss are you?

How can you identify if you are causing second hand stress in your employees?

Related content:

4 Simple Steps To Help Avoid Being Overwhelmed

Dealing With Difficult People- 4 Reaction Steps

What I Learned Trying Different Management


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