Sleep on it
If anyone asks an agency person whether they have stress at work , they are likely to receive a loud burst of hollow laughter in response. “Of course there’s stress! It’s the nature of the job. If you hate stress, you don’t join an agency!“
It’s hard to argue with that. Agencies clearly need people who thrive on stress, who channel the pressures into great work every day, and don’t panic no matter what.
But is that all there is to it? Do you have to accept all the stress and simply get on with it? Or do you look to see if there’s a way to reduce some unnecessary stress on your team?
In the £50 book ‘Principles of Management’ by Ricky Griffin, somewhere in its 500 fun-filled (not) pages it talks about the causes of work stress. The first one it lists is Task Demands, in which it highlights three key elements:
- Quick decisions
- Incomplete information for decisions
- Critical decisions
It’s that second point – incomplete information for decisions – that I’m interested in here. When I met up with Sonia Lamb, the Operations Director of Manchester digital agency Building Blocks, she said
“We have over 50 people here now. It’s nonstop. No one person could hold all that information in their head at once. Yet in my job I’m responsible for what we deliver.
“The answer: Give the live information to everyone who needs it. Empowering people means I can step back and focus on what I need to focus on. Synergist gives me peace of mind that we’re on top of it all. I can sleep at night, not worrying about the unknown.”
Now, when was the last time you heard someone in your agency talk about peace of mind and sleeping well at night? (More hollow laughter, I expect). But if there’s a way to reduce completely avoidable stress due to staff having only incomplete information, aren’t you making things unnecessarily hard on yourselves if you don’t do something about it?
Maybe you should sleep on it...
See Peace of Mind, the infographic on the Building Blocks story