Stress is a common problem for many, both at home and at work. However, while it may be common it can be troublesome and can cause a lot of issues in the workplace. From lower company morale to less productivity, stress can wreak havoc on the functioning of a workplace. Because of this, finding ways to reduce stress for your employees in the workplace can be highly beneficial. If you are looking for some ways to help make your employee’s life easier and to give your company a boost, here are some things to try.
So, how do you help employees reduce stress? Stress is the root cause of many issues that occur in the workplace. First, use empathy to understand the sources of stress and provide a safe environment that helps an employee talk to you. Be present and be an active listener. Share health tips to promote exercise and healthy living and use new technologies to simplify job tasks when possible. When communication is weak, it can easily lead to misunderstandings, work on improving communication and relationships for all employees.
Five Ways to Help Your Employees Reduce Stress
1. Understand the Sources of Employee Stress
One of the first things you need to do when setting out to tackle the issue of stress in the workplace is to understand its sources. Stress can come from many things, so targeting exactly what it is that seems to be causing your employees the most stress at work can help you figure out where to start. Depending on your company and what you offer sources of stress can vary greatly.
In some cases, a big source of stress for employees could be wages that are too low, or that are insufficient for them to live off of. If this is your issue, raising wages and providing your employees with more benefits is something that you will need to look into. In other cases, it could be that your employees are feeling overworked. If you frequently require your employees to work long or irregular hours, adjusting them may be required to reduce stress and help improve their work-life balance.
In other cases, the main sources of your employee’s stress could have nothing to do with the working environment at all, and could be due to personal issues that they are struggling with. In this situation, there may not be any specific action that you can take to address their stress, so it may be more helpful to simply let your employees know that you are there for them, and willing to help in any way that you can.
2. Use New Technologies to Simplify Jobs
After you have assessed what it is that might be causing the most stress at your workplace, you can begin to address it, as well as focus on other, smaller things that can streamline work for your employees in general. No matter what is the main cause of stress at your office, finding ways to make tasks easier will be beneficial for everyone. One way to do this is to take advantage of new kinds of technology, whether it is SRE or a new type of accounting software. The more that you can simplify or even eliminate small tasks or busy work for your employees, the more you can lighten their load and the easier it will be for them to focus on the more important aspects of their job.
3. Discuss Health Tips with Employees
Sometimes, the source of stress in the workplace isn’t any one thing in particular, but is due rather to the fact that your employees are feeling run down, or are struggling to manage their feelings of stress properly. One way to help with this is to take time to talk to your employees about health habits that can help reduce stress. Whether you do it informally, or have a company meeting taking time out to discuss the basics of staying healthy and reducing stress can be helpful.
During these kinds of talks, you should encourage your employees to take regular breaks to prevent burn out. You should also encourage them to get plenty of physical activity, especially if your employees spend large amounts of time sitting at a desk. For some companies, starting the day off with a company wide stretch can be a fun way to get everyone moving as a group without feeling self-conscious about it. Beyond physical activity, you should also discuss stress reduction techniques with your employees, like deep breathing exercises and mindfulness.
Another way to promote good health and stress reduction is to encourage your employees to eat a healthy diet. While beverages and foods high in caffeine and sugars may help give workers an energy boost, the reality is that unhealthy food choices can lead to poorer health and more stress overall. To help combat this, you can do things like offer healthy snacks in break rooms as well as get rid of vending machines that are filled with unhealthy candy and snacks.
4. Work On Improving Communication and Workplace Relationships
For many workplaces, a lack of communication and a poor quality of interpersonal relationships can be a major cause of stress and low morale. When communication is weak, it can easily lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and work getting done improperly. To avoid this, making sure that you encourage and teach your employees about how to best communicate with each other can be key.
One of the primary aspects of quality communication is active listening. So often, many listen just until it is their turn to speak again and don’t truly take in what it is that the other person is saying to them. While this is common, it can be highly problematic. With active listening, there is an emphasis placed on giving the speaker all of your attention, and doing things to show them that they are being heard, like making frequent eye contact and repeating things they say back to them.
The more that you prioritize clear, effective and respectful conversation, the better employee relationships will be, and the fewer misunderstandings there will be. Beyond that, where there are some misunderstandings they will be easier to resolve when good communication techniques are being used.
5. Let Employees Know They Can Talk To You
When it comes to reducing your employee’s stress, the best thing you can do is make sure that they know you are there to talk to them if they need it. While you may be able to pinpoint some of the sources of stress for your employees, the reality is that there are likely many things that could be causing them stress that you may know nothing about.
By being approachable and making it clear to your employees that you are open to hear what they have to say and want to help them however you can, you can make it much easier for your employees to come to you and let you know when they have an issue that is affecting their stress level or their ability to work well, and ultimately resolve it. The more that employees feel you will be understanding if they need time off, or need some extra help with a project they are working on, the more likely they will be to reach out, and the smoother your company will run.
Stress is the root cause of many issues that occur in the workplace. This can be true whether the stress is a result of something that is happening in the workplace itself, or it is something an employee is dealing with in their personal life. Either way, there can be many ways to tackle the issue of stress in the workplace, from streamlining jobs with new technology, to letting your employees know that you are there to help them when they need it.