Stress seems ubiquitous at CBS. Whether you ask students, administrative staff or researchers, everyone will to some extent say that they have experienced stress. And it’s not improving, reveals the latest satisfaction survey made among CBS staff.
The experience of an increasing workload and less time to deal with it seems to be the reason that staff members at CBS tend to feel more stressed.
“What we know is that whether you are in the administrative unit or a researcher the signs of stress you experience are the same, though the causes might be very different,” says Trine Madsen, HRD-consultant at CBS.
Especially the administrative and research staff have been suffering under increasing challenges with stress. For that reason, stress was one of the main focus areas in an employee well-being campaign named ‘Did you have a nice day at work?’ which ran from autumn 2015 to winter 2016. And the results have now been collected.
During the campaign, several activities were offered to create awareness of signs of stress among colleagues. According to Trine Madsen, it seems to have worked in terms of demystifying stress.
“The participants report that they have become more aware of each other during stressful periods. That they now have a common language about stress; and that stress has now become something that they address much more openly,” she says and adds:
“We have only scratched the surface, when it comes to prevention of stress. Many of the classic myths about stress still live on. And stress does not grow, because we talk about it – quite the contrary,” says Trine Madsen, who took part in running the campaign.
Researchers are up next
Now that the campaign has finished, the HR Services will continue the most successful activities targeted more groups of researchers.
The best way to battle stress is to talk about itTrine Madsen, HRD-Consultant, CBS
“Researchers have different working conditions compared to the administrative staff. The work environment is more competitive, and they are lacking job security for a large part of their early career. And at different steps of the career ladder there are different factors at play. So, what we do with this initiative is to focus on each step of the career ladder as a researcher,” says Trine Madsen and adds:
“What we have discovered from the first campaign is that many work places around CBS still need knowledge and tools to prevent stress, which means we need to carry out the activities in more places.”
The work continues
CBS has been working with handling and preventing stress among employees since 2002; however, stress still seems to increase.
Trine Madsen argues that even though CBS has been working to decrease the number of staff members who feel stressed on an everyday basis, the time hasn’t been ripe to actually discuss it collectively.
“When we talk to staff members, we experience a whole other interest in working with stress, and that’s a difference from before. Stress is no longer a taboo or something that the individual has to fight on their own. The time has come when we are mature enough to talk about it and do something about it,” she says.
When asked what’s the best weapon against stress is, Trine Madsen is not in doubt.
“The best way to battle stress is to talk about it. If we create an atmosphere where we are aware of own and other’s signs of stress, and that it’s okay to say one is stressed, it will help a lot,” says Trine Madsen and adds:
“We can still get a lot better at listening to each other and better at talking about stress versus busyness, and what it means for our workday and colleagueship, but we are getting there.”
The recently finished campaign and the upcoming initiatives might have a positive effect on next year’s job satisfaction survey, and Trine Madsen hopes that CBS staff will move on from being stressed to thrive.