5 Ways to Deal with the Microstresses Draining Your Energy | Harvard Business Review

Leadership & Culture

Employee wellbeing (EWB) remains a top priority for many organizations. However, Deloitte’s Wellbeing at Work survey reveals that many employees struggle with low levels of wellbeing, encountering exhaustion (52%), stress (49%), and a sense of being overwhelmed (43%). Despite the existence of EWB support initiatives like wellness programs, organizations often overlook the impact of various aspects of the work environment on EWB. In this new article by Rob Cross and Karen Dillon (authors of the book, The Microstress Effect: How Little Things Pile Up and Create Big Problems–and What to Do About Itand Kevin Martin of i4cp, they delve into the concept of microstressorsmanageable stressors that seem manageable at the moment, but accumulate and compound, causing ripple effects that impact EWB. The authors identified 14 sources of microstress categorized into three groups 1) microstresses that drain your capacity to get things done (e.g., a surge in responsibilities), 2) microstresses that deplete your emotional reserves (e.g., managing others), and 3) microstresses that challenge your identity (e.g., pressure to pursue goals out of sync with personal values). The article outlines five steps to help organizations and teams identify where (and from whom) their stress is coming from and how they can proactively reduce it. As a bonus, here is a diagnostic from one of Rob and Karen’s previous articles on the topic, which can help individuals identify sources of microstress in their lives.