People spend a significant amount of time at their jobs, they spend more time at work then they do at work. Most people work mostly part or full time and that’s not including those who work overtime. In the U.S. one works an average of 45-50 hours a week. So, it’s not shocker that work can be a major source of stress. Performance evaluations, customer relationships, job standards, coworkers, layoffs and many other stressors meaning employees are feeling the effects of anxiety and stress more than ever before. When employees are stressed, it can poorly affect their job performance, causing them to be less productive and potentially make more mistakes. With this in mind, there has never been a more important time for employers to make reducing stress a top priority.
1. Lead by example. It’s extremely important that employers/managers lead by example. As a leader it’s critical you keep a lid on your own emotions; don’t let negativity, anger or stress rub off on your employees.
2. Encourage Physical Activity. Studies have shown that exercise reduces stress significantly, improves alertness and concentration, and enhances individuals’ general cognition. Creating an environment that makes it easy for employees to exercise regularly can reduce stress. Consider encouraging employees to get outside and walk during lunch breaks, or try offering discounted gym memberships or other incentives to promote wellness.
3. Create social activity. Employees spend a lot of time with their co-workers and therefore it’s important they get along. The more people enjoy their time at work, the better the atmosphere will be. A better office atmosphere leads to productivity, creativity and collaboration. Social activity is good for reducing stress, boosting morale and team building.
4. Offer Benefits. Money is a large cause of stress for many people, and health problems are a strain on financial resources. While there are many considerations when it comes to choosing a health plan, it’s a good idea to solicit employee feedback. When people are covered, they are more likely to treat health issues in the early stages, which saves time, money, and ultimately stress.
5. Communicate with your employees. Open communication is critical in leadership; keeping employees up to date regarding changes, expectations and their own performance not only keeps them on track but also reduces feelings of stress and anxiety, after all there is nothing worse than being kept in the dark. What’s more, open communication is a two way street and the more you converse with your employees, the more likely they are to share concerns, ideas and thoughts making for much stronger working relationships and a healthier overall company culture.
6. Allow remote working or flexible schedule. A major stress inducer, particularly for women, is stringent working hours. Allowing employees to work remotely, or even on a flexible time scheme is proven to be great for morale. Not only are you saying to your employees, “I trust you,” by allowing them to manage their own time, but you are also taking away added stress such as child care for working parents. Manage this sort of flexibility with open communication and outline clear expectations.
Reducing work place stress can lead to a more productive and energized work force, and it can also be used as a recruiting tool for attracting top talent.
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sources: https://www.businesschief.com/leadership/3621/7-ways-employers-can-reduce-stress-in-the-workplace & https://detroit.cbslocal.com/2017/08/03/6-ways-employers-reduce-stress-workplace/