Stress Management for Salespeople
Stress Management for Salespeople
Frank Taylor’s automobile dealership has a number of high-achieving salespeople who could be described as extreme Type A personalities. Unfortunately, several of them are experiencing stress-related physical problems such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and migraine headaches. You have been hired to develop a stress reduction program incorporating both relaxation techniques and physical exercises that can be utilized by individuals and in group sessions several days a week at work. Describe specifics of a program that incorporates techniques of proven efficacy in dealing with extreme Type A personality behaviors.
Stress Management for Salespeople
The description of individuals as extreme type-A personalities follows the theory first coined by Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman, cardiologists who sought to determine the potential causes of coronary heart disease. From their study, the theorists concluded that specific behavioral patterns posed a significant risk for coronary heart disease, which led them to devise a method through which individuals can be categorized as either type A, B, or AB (Petticrew, Lee, & McKee, 2012). They further concluded that individuals with type A personality worry more about personal or professional achievements and success. These individuals tend to be workaholics, who harbor numerous issues with self-esteem, short-temper, impatience, highly competitive, aggressive, and time-conscious. Essentially, the theorists indicated that although individuals under this category are doers, they are more susceptible to anxiety, burnout, frustration, and immeasurable stress due to the high level of involvement applied in their activities (Wilson, 2009). Therefore, since the salespeople have been categorized as extreme type-A personalities, this write-up will outline a stress-reduction program that integrates physical exercise, coping strategies, and relaxation techniques that can be applied throughout the organization.
Stress Management Program
Based on the salespeople’s description and categorization as type A personalities, it is apparent that the individuals are under immense stress that exacerbated to physical problems such as migraine headaches, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Helping these individuals overcome these stress-related problems necessitates implementing a stress reduction program that would safeguard their well-being and guarantee improved performance (Petticrew, Lee, & McKee, 2012). The program will foster reducing the health issues among the salespeople by involving them in health-fitness activities, physical exercise, and relaxation techniques. Most fundamentally, since participating in the program will be voluntary, the inclusion of the employees will involve providing an incentive within the workplace that attracts the employees. This incentive would entail routine check-ups of the employees’ vitals, referral to specialized healthcare professionals, and awards for those who participate in activities to reduce stress levels, including group therapy, coping strategies, and healthy eating habits (Juneja, 2021).
Most fundamentally, the stress-reduction program that should be implemented at Frank Taylor’s dealership entails mandatory counselling and therapy sessions carried out in face-to-face interactions between the salespeople and a psychologist. During these interactions, the salespeople, alongside other employees within the organization, would be required to adhere to strategies applied by the therapist by expressing their concerns or highlighting issues that trigger their stress levels (Juneja, 2021). This way, the salespeople would share their worries and further tone down their aggressiveness and constant job pressures that require them to meet set targets. Subsequently, the salespeople would be required to participate in group therapy sessions at least twice a week. However, if the employees would not be comfortable sharing their concerns with their colleagues, a suggestion box would be strategically placed in a suitable location to write down their issues anonymously. The therapist would work closely with the management at the organization to develop a work schedule that grants the salespeople more flexibility in their roles and responsibilities (APA, 2018). This flexibility would involve manageable targets, working outside the office for at least two days of the week, and commissions earned from each sale made.
As stipulated by Juneja (2021), managing or reducing stress within a workplace setting necessitates applying various strategies across three levels; primary and secondary appraisal and the coping stage. At the primary stage, the strategies are applied to determine the individuals’ perception of a specific threat, while the secondary appraisal level involves understanding their responses. The coping stage focuses on preparing the individuals to apply measures to prevent the threat’s recurrence or transfer its adverse effects beyond specific points in their lives. Specifically, after identifying the stress factors for the salespeople at the organization, the therapist, alongside the relevant stakeholders, would focus on developing strategic approaches that allow the former group to respond adequately. Some of the approaches that should be developed include problem-focused efforts that allow the salespeople to address the threat individually, as a group, or throughout the organization (APA, 2018). For instance, if the threat emanates from pressure mounted by the leaders within the organization, the problem-focused efforts would foster addressing the issue through increased flexibility and manageable sales targets.
Similarly, emotion-focused efforts would reduce the intensity of the stress factors expressed by the salespeople and other employees within the organization. The attainment of this goal would involve counselling that targets the specific stress factor to help the individual or group respond accordingly (Juneja, 2021). By working hand-in-hand with a therapist, the salespeople would be influenced to change their perception of the work environment, their roles and responsibilities, and focus on attaining better health. It would involve addressing the individuals’ emotional, health, and social needs. The American Psychological Association (APA) highlights several strategies for coping with stress at work and managing the relative physical illnesses or issues likely to occur. Among the strategies highlighted include tracking the specific stressors by recording personal thoughts, feelings, and information regarding the environment, including the circumstances and people involved (APA, 2018). These should be coupled with developing healthy responses that allow the employees to fight their stressors and doing their best to make healthy choices when tension rises.
According to the APA (2018), one suitable way of fighting and adequately addressing the stressors entails exercising, meditating, and creating time for hobbies and favorite activities. Besides, getting adequate sleep, building healthy eating habits that include limiting the amount of caffeine consumed, and minimizing stimulating activities would foster effective stress management. Therefore, organizing activities that allow the employees to engage in physical exercise, including establishing a gym at work, would allow the salespeople to manage their stress levels. It would further allow them to take time to replenish their energy levels, return to pre-stress levels of function, and ultimately avoid the adverse effects of burnout and constant pressure (APA, 2018). Similarly, the management team should set aside strategic locations that allow the employees to meditate, practice deep breathing exercises, and learn various relaxing methods while still in the work environment.
Based on the salespeople’s description as extreme type-A personalities, implementing the various strategies proposed under the stress reduction program would play a fundamental role in boosting employee health, ultimately leading to their productivity at work. Since productivity and employee performance rely mainly on the welfare of the employees, the leaders would have an incentive to create a work environment that promotes stress reduction, reduces burnout, and minimizes the pressure on the target that should be met. This way, the employees would become more motivated to attain the organizational goals because they would be more relaxed, stress-free, and collected. These strategies proposed have been proven to effectively manage stress among employees, which would translate to reducing the relative physical issues or illnesses likely to occur.
APA. (2018, October 14). Coping with stress at work. American Psychological Association (APA): https://www.apa.org. https://www.apa.org/topics/healthy-workplaces/work-stress
Juneja, P. (2021). Employee stress and performance- Strategies for managing stress at workplace. Management Study Guide – Courses for Students, Professionals & Faculty Members. https://www.managementstudyguide.com/employee-stress-and-performance.htm
Petticrew, M. P., Lee, K., & McKee, M. (2012). Type a behavior pattern and coronary heart disease: Philip Morris’s “Crown jewel.” American Journal of Public Health, 102(11), 2018-2025. https://doi.org/10.2105/ajph.2012.300816
Wilkie, D. (2020, April 22). What managers can do to ease workplace stress. SHRM. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/employee-relations/pages/how-managers-can-help-stressed-workers-.aspx
Wilson, S. (2009). Type A and B Personalities. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/mar/07/personality-type-a-type-b#:~:text=Type%20A%20and%20type%20B,possible%20causes%20of%20coronary%20disease.&text=They%20concluded%20that%20someone%20with,concerned%20with%20status%20and%20achievement
Stress Management for Salespeople