Ability to Work Under Pressure: Not Just Business Jargon
2008, the year of the most recent financial crash, was a pivotal year in many ways. A period of high employment came to an end; cutbacks, redundancies, and department abolition followed. “Consolidation” and “downsizing” came next. For those who didn’t lose their jobs, a new reality materialised – doing more work for the same pay.
More words were added to the business lexicon. Words like soft skills, flexibility, problem solving and ability to work under pressure. Soon, they became the new employee selection criteria. Previously, qualifications and experience were paramount. Now, the ability to think outside the box and go beyond one’s job expectations became critical to a business’ success. Working under pressure is another vital soft skill.
What does the soft skill “work under pressure” mean?
We used to think of high-pressure jobs as well paid and / or highly qualified: military, government and medical. Today, we are all feeling the pressure from top to bottom. Senior managers need to know that everybody can cope with difficult situations and adapt. We have too much work with too few resources, we need to learn aspects of others’ jobs and that requires resilience and flexibility. Working under pressure is simply the ability to cope with a high volume of work.
- It means developing our leadership skills in our role, no matter our level
- It means foreseeing work problems and being able to plan for them
- It means coping with staff shortages at busy periods
Why is it important?
There are work issues beyond our control. Sudden sickness in an already over-worked and under-staffed workplace can increase work stress, leading to a loss of morale. A team without morale or cohesion is not functioning to the best of its ability. A team feeling recognising the stress, preparing for it and demonstrably able to cope, will thrive. If you want a thriving work place, you need to find people who can work under pressure. Those who struggle or feel anxious about their workload and ability to cope will need support.
Can you “teach” it?
Some people thrive under pressure; others do not cope well at all. Those who cannot cope under pressure are not a lost cause. Support and encouragement from line managers and colleagues will sometimes be enough, but not always. This is why many businesses send their employees on training courses on such things as mindfulness and relaxation. Even as recently as the 1990s, many would have felt such courses where a waste of time and money. Today, your employees’ mental well-being is of paramount importance. Coping strategies and the ability to foresee problems can be taught and encouraged.
Although these training courses are valuable, they can be expensive and time-consuming. Taking people out of an already over-burdened workplace will be counterproductive, too. Bookboon has a solution that delivers the desired results for your business while allowing employees to work at their own pace.
Our extensive elibrary Solution will improve mental resilience in your employees to high-pressure work scenarios. It will also develop their flexibility, initiative and instil confidence in their work abilities. This, in turn, will help them perform their duties more efficiently and work under pressure.
Our range of eBooks can help businesses like yours help employees develop core soft skills. Business leaders feel there is a critical shortage of these skills in the workforce; if you want to get ahead, then Bookboon has the solution for you.