Think you’re stressed this holiday season? According to latest research, you are probably breathing easier than those who report to you.
Studies say those who are short on time and heavy on responsibility certainly have lots on their mind. They aren’t free from worry, but they also have a sense of control that keeps anxiety at lower level.
The study, published recently by the National Academy of Sciences, shows that those who manage others actually experience less stress — as measured through both biological and psychological assessments — than non-leaders.
But it’s not just having a large number of people reporting to you that makes the difference. The decrease in stress is related to having the authority to delegate.
At The Bagg Group, we have placed more than 58,000 people successfully in full-time positions, contract work, and part-time placements. That means we have interviewed at least triple that number of candidates over the past 40 years.
What have we learned from talking with employees seeking new positions?
Among many things, here are two key findings that we have had confirmed year in, year out:
- Most people want to work to their best ability and make a positive contribution to their employer.
- Those who are not in high-level positions can be defeated by too many tasks, and trying to juggle too many expectations, without direction or help in prioritizing. Just as the study confirms, those who are not in a position to delegate, or have control over their workload, suffer the most stress.
The power to delegate is a wonderful thing, but it’s counter-productive to heap a lot of work on a small team.
That’s why the top employers with the highest employee retention rates consistently implement these two best practices:
- They help their people prioritize. When delegating a task, they discuss with the employee when and how they can fit in the new demand. They agree what other work can be pushed down on to-do list to accommodate the new task.
- They hire contract and temporary workers: The power to delegate is also the power to bring in people who can either work on special projects, or take on activities to leave employees free to focus on their priorities. Productivity shoots up when stress is decreased.