Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stressed at work? How to rekindle job satisfaction

Your workload has increased, so have your boss’s expectations. But scaling back could mean losing your job.

Paul Baard, an organizational and motivational psychologist at Fordham University’s graduate business school in New York, knows just how stressful a work environment can get. He has consulted for athletes in the high-stakes, high-pressure world of professional sports.

What secret has he passed along to those clients? When you’re in a slump, you can still contribute by encouraging your teammates.

Rather than burdening a team with distracting self-doubt and pity, try to help others, he said. “In order to remain self-motivated, research has found that the innate psychological need for competence must be satisfied,” Baard said. “This drive pertains not only to the ability to do a job but to achieve something through it — to have impact, to contribute. A way an employee can expand opportunities to satisfy this need is to help her team succeed by encouraging others, even if her direct contributions are limited.”

Age, occupation and family circumstances, among other factors, can all play a part in how workers respond to different stressors. But experts say there are steps that can help you take control of your happiness at work.

1. Find meaning in your tasks

Commitment to a goal beyond self-promotion can help a worker manage stress levels, said John Weaver, a psychologist at Psychology For Business, a Brookfield, Wis.-based employment consultancy. Read more....


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