When we discuss stress and stress management, there is a tendency for us to create an unnecessary dualism. A dualism that focuses on whether it is the employer’s responsibility or the individual’s responsibility for stress to occur. But does it have to be either/or?
When we focus on providing individuals with tools to manage stress, I often experience being criticized because it simultaneously signals that the employer has no responsibility. But why is that? Why can’t we focus on multiple levels at the same time?
I have a background in HR myself, and I fully acknowledge that every employer has a responsibility in terms of practicing good leadership, creating a good work environment, ensuring good processes, and so on. At the same time, it is evident that companies that excel in these areas also have employees who experience stress. Therefore, it is obvious to me that we should work on multiple levels and not turn it into a battle of who is working at the “right” level.
Furthermore, it is important to remember that stress often arises not only from work-related factors but also from personal factors. Distinguishing between work-related and privately related stress seems outdated to me. The result is the same – people with stress do not thrive and certainly are not the best version of themselves.
My point is – let us stand together to prevent and manage stress. Let us acknowledge that there is a need to intervene at multiple points and on multiple levels. And let us, above all, document the effectiveness so that we know what works and what doesn’t. As the Weekendavisen wrote last week, stress is a jungle, and there are many offers that can be difficult to navigate.
MINDstrain documents the effectiveness of our efforts, and it is based on an internationally recognized method (PSS10).