Your Workplace Stress Management Guide – Prevent Employee Burnout and Productivity Loss
Sixty percent of employees experience stress in the workplace. As an employer, you probably have your own share of this common weighted feeling. But putting forth the effort to minimize work-related stress for both you and your employees can have surprising benefits. If you suspect stress in the workplace is casting a shadow over productivity and morale, here are 10 workplace stress management tactics to try out. But first, discover why employee stress is more than a bad mood and why it should concern you.
Employee Stress Has Serious Consequences
Don’t make the mistake of assuming work-related stress is the norm and simply accept it. There are several consequences to working with stress-fueled employees, such as:
- Absences: An estimated 1 million employees call in every day due to stress, creating a domino effect of consequences.
- Poor job performance: Employees under stress can suffer physical side effects like anxiety, irritability, and depression.
- Higher turnover: A 2016 study found that 60% of employees had plans to quit their jobs due to stress.
If you can reduce or possibly eliminate the stress in your workplace, you can expect to experience a boost in morale, increased productivity, and better performance across a multitude of metrics. Here’s how to tackle stress as an employer for your employees.
10 Workplace Stress Management Suggestions
Allow opportunities for stress relief
A 5-minute walk or meditation session can help alleviate stress. Provide employees with the time and opportunity to relief stress throughout the day. Enforce a break policy if needed.
Set clear expectations
Twenty-five percent of employees say unclear job expectations cause them stress. Make sure employees are provided with verbal instruction and written documentation of what their job responsibilities and what’s expected as they advance in their career.
Focus on communication
Missed deadlines, overlooked accounts, and angry clients are often a result of miscommunication. The stress that follows can be avoided by focusing on effective communication between all staff levels and members.
An unhealthy work environment can often contain discrimination or bullying. But by letting employees know you have a zero-tolerance policy in effect, they’ll feel confident in being able to come to you with concerns rather than letting the pressure mount on their shoulders.
Give employees the chance to complete their tasks on their own. If you’ve provided detailed expectations and guidelines, there should be no need for you to micromanage an employee. Eliminate the stress caused by looking over their shoulder by trusting them.
Provide healthy refueling options
Stocking the break room with donuts and treats might earn you some thank you nods in the hallway, but sugar and stress don’t mix. Provide your staff with healthy snack options, and don’t feel the need to reward your team with sweets for every occasion.
Don’t skimp on benefits
Coming up with a benefits package can be overwhelming. But it’s worth the effort. Not only will your company receive tax advantages, but employees are more likely to find financial stability, leading to less stress.
Offer conflict resolution options
In cases where conflict can’t be resolved on its own, look to trained professionals to assist. If you don’t currently have the resources available, a PEO can provide conflict resolution options on an as-needed basis.
Provide social opportunities
Employees that understand each other and get along are less likely to create a hostile work environment. Providing out of work social opportunities, like summer picnics or holiday parties, can lead to lower levels of stress.
Lead by example
Your employees can’t enjoy a stress-free environment if you’re allowing your own stress to overwhelm you. Do your best to lead by example and show employees it is possible to get through the day without stress.
Overlooking employee stress can be a huge mistake as an employer. Dedicate some time to workplace stress management and you’re sure to see the benefits. You can then use your positive work environment as a recruiting tool and enjoy the growth that comes along with calmer and happier employees.