It’s Tough In The Middle! That’s Where Workplace Stress Is!


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91% of UK workers surveyed feel that the vast majority of stress is falling on middle management!

A new report suggests that it’s the UK’s middle managers that are the most stressed in today’s businesses and it’s trickling down to junior staff too!

Almost half of workers now report feeling under pressure at work according to a study of 1,500 British employees. Middle management suffer the greatest stress levels, with 40% under severe stress.

Economic uncertainty, greater workloads, time constraints and increasing customer expectations are all contributing factors, and the evidence suggests that these things are not going away!

A clear role of leaders is to help and support their people in these ‘stressful times’, and no, I’m not suggesting that you get all ‘touchy feely’ here, but it may well be worth taking some time out to see what your managers and team think. It”s a very ‘subjective’ and ‘relative’ thing – what stresses one person, doesn’t necessarily stress another! (However, that doesn’t help the one who’s stressed!)

A nice little model that I like to use is this one…

It’s a simple tool that correlates the support that someone gets (and wants) with the challenges they face – again, it’s very ‘subjective’, but it can be a useful way to create some ‘dialogue’ to find out how things are with different individuals in your team.

For example, someone who feels they have a consistently high challenge, but low support, is likely to be suffering from stress. Equally, someone with a consistently low challenge with high support is ‘comfortable’ and with consistently low support. ‘apathy’ is likely to be seen.

The goal is ‘peak performance’ – that means ‘high challenge’ and ‘high support’.


  • How do you measure up?
  • More importantly, how do your people measure up?
  • Why not find out, and crucially, work out what you need to do as a leader to create ‘peak performances’?

Why not do it over a cup of tea? Always a good way to relieve stress!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


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