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How can employers reduce stress in the workplace?

Overwhelming stress in the workplace negatively affects every aspect of a company. From productivity to teamwork to customer relations, employees struggle to put their best foot forward if they feel they are under pressure.

What do I do if my employees are stressed or working in a stressful environment?

Identify the type of workplace stress and its cause, figure out what your employees need, and then create practical strategies for improvement.

Types of Stress in the Workplace

Performance

If employees don’t feel like their work is valued or that they are important collaborators on the team, workplace stress could be performance related.

Show employees they are valued. Give them pride and purpose, positive reinforcements. Noticed productivity and encouraging feedback leads to greater productivity in the future. Set realistic and reasonable expectations that are high enough to boost engagement and efficiency.

Financial

Is their stress related to their paycheck? To other external financial stresses that are affecting their mood and their work?

Offering benefits, especially a good health care plan, may help alleviate your employees finance-related stress, giving them more focus and motivation while at work.

Fatigue

Burnout is real. Are your employees overworked? Underpaid? Both? Maybe your company is in the middle of a transition or your team undergoing one or several major products that could be the cause of this fatigue-related stress.

Encourage breaks and movement throughout the day. And taking vacation which increases productivity. Help facilitate conflict resolution in the office, especially if a problem has arisen between coworkers.

What Do Employees Need?

Workplace stress isn’t just an abstract concept; it affects real people, your employees. It’s them you need to focus on in order to reduce workplace stress.

SOAR Vision Group, a company that focuses on strategy deployment and employee engagement, created the following list of things all employees need in a healthy work environment.

"9 Keys to Changing Employees from Commodities to Happy Collaborators" from SOAR Vision Group:

  1. To be heard
  2. To be respected for who they are and what they can contribute
  3. To be a part of a collaborative and supportive team, the sum of which is greater than the parts
  4. To be given the opportunity to win (no one comes to work to lose)
  5. To be safe
  6. To be paid fairly for the work they do
  7. To have opportunities for advancement
  8. To have open communication and a good relationship with their supervisor – employees leave supervisors not companies
  9. To always have hope that when things aren’t right, they can and will improve (and that the associate has a voice in making things better)

 

Practical Strategies for Improvement

Setting clear and actionable goals is necessary for working towards positive change and answer the question, how can employers reduce stress in the workplace?

Your goals should be clear and concise, easy to articulate, and focus on communication, motivation, and transformation.

Once you set your concrete goals, make an actionable plan for change. You’ve identified the type of workplace stress your employees are experience, now create a strategy to resolve the issues at hand.

It’s not only important for you to have a game plan for improving the workplace and reducing stress; it’s important to deploy your strategy effectively and communicate your hopes and intentions while giving your employees the tools and resources they need to help effect change and do their job well.

Besides your setting goals and following through with a plan to reduce workplace stress, here are a few other tips to help you create a motivated and healthy workplace environment:

Encourage physical activity.

Research shows that this can help reduce stress. Encourage employees to take breaks out doors or offer things like gym memberships to help care your employee’s mental and physical health.

Help employees move within your office space.

Find ways to help allow movement within the office, such as installing convertible standing desks, encouraging walks and stretch breaks to avoid the negative effects that come with sitting at a desk for hours on end.

Get employees out of the office.

Avoid burnout and encourage your employees to make optimum use of their breaks and saved vacation time. This can help them destress and can increase motivation and productivity.

Offer benefits.

Offering financial resources such as health benefits can help reduce problems that arise with financial stress that your employees may be experiencing. Providing good coverage can help give your employees peace of mind and show that you care about their wellbeing.

Make your employees feel valued.

Employees need to feel a part of the team, like their voices are heard and they are active collaborators in the company. Communicate with your employees, take in interest in them and projects they are working on. A personal touch can go a long way.

Show, don't just tell.

Your words must be followed by actions. It is important for any leader not just to communicate messages and ideas to their employees, by to lead by example and embrace the above principles and tips yourself to reduce workplace stress. It all starts from the top down.

Final Thoughts

Step 1: Find the Problem. What is causing the stress? Is it performance, financial, or fatigue based?
Step 2: Figure out what your employees need to thrive. Don’t just focus on results, but on the people that make everything happen.
Step 3: Make a concrete strategy with steps for workplace improvement and follow through.

Reducing workplace stress is not only paramount for success, but for the happiness and wellbeing of your employees. If your employees are in a good place, they’re more likely to be more productive and engaged in your strategy and in your business.

How can employers reduce stress in the workplace?

Contact Kinetos Consulting.

We offer Stress Management Workshops and other services to help create an healthy and happy work environment and boost employee engagement and productivity.

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