Practical Application: Intervention in Work-Related Stress Scenarios

Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Though everyone experiences stress at work, some situations require organizational intervention to protect employees. These scenarios will help you think about how to create a stress intervention for various work-related stressors.

Stress Interventions

Workplace stress is unavoidable. Still, the impact of stress on employees can be severe and it behooves organizations to help mitigate stressful situations. For this reason, many companies stage stress interventions meant to help employees avoid or deal with stress.

Designing a stress intervention requires organizations to consider three core questions. They are:

1. What type of intervention should we do? Companies can do primary interventions to eliminate stressors before they can impact employees, secondary interventions to help employees deal with stressors, and/or tertiary interventions to help employees rehab from stress-related effects.

2. What level of intervention should we do? Organizations can do micro-interventions to help an individual, macro-interventions to help a team or group, and/or strategic interventions to help the entire organization.

3. What time period should our intervention last? Interventions can be short (a few days to a few weeks), medium (a few months), or long (months to years).

To understand more about the types of stress interventions, see the lesson Developing Interventions for Work-Related Stress. More information about dealing with stress can be found in the course Reducing Stress for Supervisors.

Scenarios

For each scenario below, design a stress intervention. Think about the type, level, and time period for the intervention, as well as specific steps that can be taken to help the organization.

Scenario 1

Bernard is the manager of a team that designs software for schools. They have a big deadline coming up in two months, and Bernard knows that they'll all be under a lot of stress until then. Bernard wants to design a stress intervention to help his team deal with the extra stress over the next few months.

Help Bernard design a stress intervention. Think about the specific things that might be causing stress for his team due to the looming deadline. In paragraph or bulleted list form, write out an intervention for his team. Include in the intervention the type, level, and time period for the intervention. In addition, include specific strategies or tools Bernard can put into place for the intervention.

Scenario 2

Supina is starting a new business that provides public relations to businesses. She knows that PR can be an intense, stressful job because most PR firms are called in during public relations disasters. Because of that, she knows that there will always be stress inherent in her company. However, she wants to try to reduce other types of stressors for her employees. As such, she's been thinking about how to design her organization with a lower level of stress than other organizations.

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