How to Test Employees Stress Tolerance in the Workplace

Human resources
April 25, 2023

A business or company’s employees are one of its most important parts, and they play a significant role in the work process and the company’s development.

Every employer tries to hire the best candidates for their company; when you as an employer hire people, in addition to their excellent resumes and their personalities, their individual characteristics convince you that those people are the right choice for your company.

What are the characteristics of good employees? Should they have good work CVs and academic records? Some may say having good social relations, a high IQ level, smartness, etc. All these are true and vital factors.

But what proves that you have hired the best people for your organization is when the work pressure increases due to a crisis, the working hours increase, the working conditions become difficult, and the stress of the work environment increases.

Suppose your employees can manage the situation and control their stress and anxiety in such difficult situations in the workplace, which means they have positive stress tolerance. In that case, it means that you have hired experienced and excellent employees who can help you to manage challenging circumstances.

But how can you discover that your employees can stay calm in difficult situations and have stress tolerance?

It’s a good question! Because in this article, we will explain to you how you can test the stress tolerance of your employees in the workplace. So, keep reading! You can also learn more about employee tests on our blog at

Definition of stress tolerance

Definition of stress tolerance

Stress tolerance is a personality trait and ability that means people can control their stress and emotions when facing difficult situations to overcome those difficulties well.

Moreover, positive stress tolerance means being able to stay cool and calm without being overwhelmed by intense feelings of helplessness. 

When some people face a problem, stress covers their entire existence and does not allow them to think correctly and make the right decision. Instead, they are affected by anxiety and emotions, and their feelings make them think that they cannot solve the problem under any circumstances, and that’s why they feel hopeless.

But some people have the ability to make the right decisions and think positively in difficult situations and control their stress and emotions so that they can go through that hard stage well by managing those problematic situations. Such people have stress tolerance and can perform well in stressful situations.

What is stress tolerance in the workplace?

What is stress tolerance in the workplace?

As we said in the previous section, stress tolerance means being calm in difficult and justified situations and thinking correctly to make the right decisions.

Now let’s see what stress tolerance means in the workplace.

Stress tolerance in the work environment means that the employees of that company can control their stress in difficult situations and crises that the company faces, believing that they can deal with or influence those situations positively, being calm, and they don’t think that they cannot manage that crisis.

Stress tolerance is closely related to optimism and strongly indicates one’s ability to deal with problems and crises effectively. Conversely, low stress tolerance levels in the workplace can make employees more prone to anxiety, negatively affecting their health, concentration, and performance. 

Every company may sometimes face a crisis; in this situation, the duty of the employees of that organization is not to get anxious, control their stress, and stay focused on their jobs.

Because if even one person does not have stress tolerance in the work environment and gets disappointed in such situations, he/she easily transfers that feeling to other team members and employees and makes other people unable to behave well in such situations.

Therefore, the employees of any company need to have good stress tolerance in the work environment. In the next section, we will examine the things that cause stress in the employees of a company.

What causes stress in the workplace?

Various things cause stress in the work environment and between employees; we will examine the most important ones below.

  • Successive crises

If a company constantly faces various crises and problems and all the pressure is on the shoulders of its employees, it will cause stress among the employees, and the work environment will be tense.

  • Job insecurity
What causes stress in the workplace?

One of the reasons that cause stress in the employees of a company is the lack of job security; when the employees of a company feel that they may lose their jobs or be fired for any reason at any time, they become anxious, and this stress affects their performance. 

  • Long hours of work

Employees usually work between 7 and 8 hours a day, during which they also have a break. But if the daily working time exceeds this limit, the long working hours and nervous pressure will increase and cause employee stress.

  • Tight deadlines

Sometimes, in order to move a project forward quickly, managers may specify tight deadlines for their employees that they cannot meet; this causes stress among employees and makes them unable to deliver quality work.

  • Changes in duties

Sometimes managers may change the duties of some employees for some reason or change their position to another that they do not know about; this is enough reason to cause stress in the employees and the work environment because they may think that they cannot handle the new duties and that they are under pressure to cope with it.

  • Low salaries

One of the most important causes of stress in the workplace is the low salaries of employees. People work to pay their debts, buy things, and generally meet their basic needs. If their salaries are insufficient for these things, they will face stress, negatively affecting their performance.

Undoubtedly, there are other things that cause stress in the workplace and among employees; some people may get stressed by the slightest tension at work; the things we mentioned are among the most common and important reasons.

How to evaluate employees’ stress tolerance in the workplace?

Based on what was said in the previous sections, you must have realized how important it is to hire employees who have stress tolerance. Therefore, in the following, we will explain how you can evaluate the stress tolerance of your employees in the workplace.

  • Behavioral interviews

Stress tolerance can be assessed through behavioral interviews, where people are asked to provide examples of how they have dealt with stressful situations, crises, setbacks, and frustration at work in the past (their previous jobs). 

When you ask these questions to the candidates, you can guess, according to their answers, whether they have stress tolerance in the work environment and face difficult conditions calmly or cannot manage their stress.

Some of these types of questions include the following:

  • What advice would you give to calm a stressed colleague about tight deadlines? 
  • Can you describe a time when you made a mistake at work because of stress? How did you manage it?
  • What did you do when you had a bad boss at work who you didn’t get along with? 
  • What do you think of this interview? How is it going?
  • Was your last job too stressful to handle? 
  • What would you do if a customer verbally insulted you in front of your co-workers?
  • Can you describe a time you had to make a tough decision? How did you handle it?
  • How would you deal with frequent changes in duties at work?
  • How can you avoid situations that become too stressful for you to handle? 
  • How do you react when your boss gives negative feedback in front of your colleagues? Will you get nervous and stressed?
  • Questionnaires 

One of the methods that help employers measure the level of stress tolerance of employees in the workplace is the use of questionnaires that are made for this purpose.

The employees answer questions in these questionnaires to determine how much they can tolerate stress in the work environment and complex conditions.

If employers use these questionnaires before hiring people, they can make better choices and hire people with better stress tolerance in the workplace.

Some of the questions in these questionnaires include:

  • Can you decide on your work pace?
  • Are you embroiled in conflict at work?
  • Do you think about working after your working day?
  • Are you busy with work and find it hard to sleep? 
  • Do you tend to have a positive or negative attitude?
  • Can you talk about what causes you to feel stressed?
  • Due to work, do you find it hard to find time to be with your friends?
  • Has your workload increased recently? How would you manage it?
  • Are there currently any conflicts at work? How do you feel about them?
  • Do you often offer solutions for difficult situations at your job

By using these two methods and sample questions that we provided you, as an employer, you can evaluate the level of stress tolerance of your employees in the workplace to make sure that they do not suffer from the stress caused at work and that they can cope properly under challenging times, act well and make the best decisions.

How to manage stress tolerance facing difficulties in the workplace

How to manage stress tolerance facing difficulties in the workplace

If you are an employee of a company, and you are stressed in the work environment or

If, as an employer, you want to know methods and provide them to your employees so that they can manage their stress tolerance in the workplace, this section is for you!

In the following, we will explain the methods you can use to control and improve your stress tolerance in the workplace.

  • Find healthy responses to your stress

Try to find a healthy solution to reduce your stress. For example, many people overeat when they feel stressed at work, which is very harmful to their health. Try not to do that!

Instead, try to converse with your colleague or supervisor and reduce your inner tension without transferring your stress to them. You can also take a short break and take a walk to relax.

  • Take a break to recharge yourself

Sometimes long working hours and high work pressure may cause stress that can affect your performance; in such cases, try to take a few days off to get away from the work environment and open your mind so that you can return to work with more energy.

Doing this will help you replenish your mental fuel, reduce your stress, and start working in a better mood again.

  • Ask for help

If you ever feel that the stress of the workplace is too much for you, and you can’t handle it anymore try to discuss this issue with your manager or supervisor and ask them for help.

Undoubtedly, you are important to them, and they will do everything they can to reduce your stress.

  • Avoid conflicts with your colleagues

In order not to get stressed in the work environment, try to avoid arguments with your colleagues. For example, if there is a problem between you and your colleague, try to discuss it with your manager so that he can solve the problem. By doing this, you will solve the problem without stressing yourself out.

  • Try not to be a perfectionist

Try to do your best in the workplace and be happy about it; if you are never satisfied with your performance, in other words, you are constantly involved in perfectionism, you will be stressed at work, and you will not be able to carry out the work well and even improve. So, to avoid stress at work, try to do your best in the best possible way.

People know themselves better, and everyone can have their own way of controlling stress in the workplace, but the things we mentioned are the best options to help you manage and strengthen your stress tolerance.


Having stress for any reason has harmful effects on human health; many people suffer a lot of stress and pressure in the workplace, which affects their performance and even sometimes causes them to be fired.

Employers want to hire people who have a high stress tolerance in the work environment, can think correctly in difficult situations, and do not get involved in negative emotions and thoughts. Because, as it was said, if a person has a low level of stress tolerance in the workplace, they can easily transfer that stress to others and cause problems in the work process.

In this article, we have generally explained the stress tolerance of employees in the workplace, provided employers with methods that can help them evaluate the stress tolerance of employees, and explained the ways that employees can use to manage and strengthen their stress tolerance at work.

We hope this article was helpful to you, and always try to find and use ways to control and reduce stress in the work environment and life.