Everyone knows what it’s like to experience stress in the workplace. It’s just a fact of life, and there’s nothing any employer can do to eradicate stress from their place of business altogether. With that said, it’s important to remember that stress is an obstacle to employee performance and productivity. And, when left unaddressed, it may even result in burnout, absenteeism, and beyond. As such, it’s prudent for employers and HR leaders to make smart, common-sense efforts to keep workplace stress in check.
The question, as ever, is how?
Tips for Reducing Workplace Stress
1) Emphasize engagement.
Studies consistently show that, when employees feel engaged with company leadership as well as with their coworkers, they are more likely to communicate about the things that are causing them anxiety. This, in turn, can result in lower levels of stress, or at least in greater resources to manage stress. Make sure your employees all have clarity about the mission of the company, and their role within it. And, provide plenty of avenues for employees to provide feedback or to raise concerns. Finally, try to be as transparent as possible with your employees, keeping them in the loop about the direction of the business.
2) Check in about mental health.
Develop a habit of regularly checking in with employees, asking them how they are doing and following up about anything that might be generating stress. Help your employees to feel seen, heard, and cared for, while also destigmatizing mental health discussions in the workplace. For employees who do voice concerns about stress or depression, be prepared to connect them with counseling referrals or other resources from HR.
3) Encourage activity.
Physical activity is an essential way to ward off stress. There are a number of ways you can encourage your employees to get up and get active: Provide subsidized gym memberships. Have walking meetings, or simply invite employees to join short walks during the lunch hour. Consider closing shop early one Friday to go for an outdoor walk together.
4) Provide tools.
Employees tend to feel stressed when they feel like they are not properly supported in their work. Use questionnaires or employee surveys to assess what tools or resources your employees need. Whenever possible, position them for success.
5) Provide autonomy.
Studies have also shown that, while employees need to be supported, they don’t like to feel micromanaged. Provide clarity about roles and expectations, and ensure you have structures for accountability in place, but also trust your employees to do the job you’ve hired them to do.
Seek HR Solutions for Your Workplace
The right resources can help you minimize stress and promote productivity in your workplace. To learn more, connect with FullHR today.