Getting out of reactive mode at an organizational level

ORCA and TTI Stress assessment

Avoid reactive mode habits and embrace proactivity

CHROs, People Officers, and team leaders are finding that stress is pervasive in workplaces right now more than ever. According to the 2021 Mental Health at Work Report, 84% of U.S. workers said that their workplace conditions had contributed to at least one mental health challenge. The U.S. Center for Disease Control states that now more than ever workplace stress in America has become a serious threat to workers’ overall wellbeing and health, ultimately threatening and weakening organizations.

One major cause of workplace stress is when an organization only reacts to issues as they arise or, in other words, when an organization is in reactive mode. When we’re in reactive mode, we don’t process our situation and surroundings very well and can have limited thoughts and ideas, leading to stress.

Is your organization’s stress at a tipping point?

Signs your organization is in reactive mode:

  • Deadlines for tasks are constantly deemed “urgent”
  • There is no effort in improving/refining systems and strategies
  • Schedules are often not followed
  • New tasks are not specifically prioritized and rely on the subjective selection of individuals

Moving from reactive mode to proactive mode

Being in proactive mode is one way to reduce the impact of stress in an organization. In proactive mode, a good leader will try to anticipate the needs and challenges of their workplace environment ahead of time. When unforeseen circumstances arise, having a proactive mindset can help to minimize stress and enable more efficient reactions. 

Incorporate these habits within your teams to create a more proactive mindset:

  • Keep track of how you spend your time
    • What tasks are demanding your attention?
    • The more time demanding tasks will be the first to begin generating stress as the organization grows.
  • Communicate issues and ask for feedback
    • What challenges have you or your team faced while working on tasks?
    • Being aware of the pain points is the most crucial step to improving the efficiency of your team.
  • Focus on the issue at hand
    • What tasks are most important?
    • It is easy to get caught up trying to put 100% effort into every task that comes our way. The issue is that not all tasks are created equal. It is important to keep track of the overall goal and prioritize tasks accordingly.
  • Anticipate and strategize
    • Where is the organization headed?
    • Try to anticipate who and what you may need in order to continue meeting (and hopefully exceeding!) your goals.

Proactively responding to stress

Once you start getting into a proactive mindset, handling stress and reacting to challenges becomes easier. Part of honing proactivity is understanding the concept: you don’t know where you can go unless you know where you are. To begin raising awareness, we like using a tool known as the TTI SI Stress Quotient Assessment

The beauty of this assessment is that it is not a big investment in and of itself, but the payoff can be massive. Spending a short amount of time to take this survey will provide a baseline of your stressors and what can be improved.  Taking the assessment a month later will show if anything has changed or shifted, if things have improved, or if things have gotten worse (in which case, a new approach could be necessary). As time goes on, the assessment will continuously provide you with the data necessary to monitor and improve the health of a team.

Is your organization struggling with strategic people issues like stress?

Take a complementary stress assessment and 30 minute consultation.

Email to request yours.

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