Provide Greater Flexibility And Give Employees More Control
We frequently tout flexibility as a must-have workplace benefit for employers that want to stay competitive. Its cited over and over again among the top qualities candidates are looking for in a workplace, and if you dont have it, it can be a make-or-break-factor for your top talent picks.
The importance of flexibility right now, however, cant be understated. Working from home is a given, but that alone doesnt necessarily make things any more flexible for employees who are used to coming into the office. What flexibility means for your company right now will depend on your industry, financial situation, and the logistics of the work you do, but it could come in the form of reduced hours, non-standard work hours , more flexibility with deadlines and even more flexible leave-of-absence policies.
Employees also feel less stressed when they have more control. Remember the study we cited earlier about lack of control being one of the biggest workplace stress factors? You can facilitate a sense of employee ownership over their time and projects by giving them a wide berth to make decisions using their best judgement rather than seeking management approval for every little thing. Little gestures that give employees more control go a long way in this, like empowering them to flex their hours as they see fit without getting permission, so long as the work is getting done.
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Form Positive Relationships As Much As You Can
Some people start a job with a chip on their shoulder, and seem to set out to make everyone there miserable. Whether youâre starting a new job, or make it a goal for new employees who start where you work, build a better foundation than that.
Not everyone is outgoing or makes friendships easily. And no one is asking you to make your co-workers your best friends. But you can set out to be positive towards others, avoiding negativity as much as is in your control.
- Be a good listener.
- Be sincere but generous in complimenting someone elseâs work.
- Help someone who needs it.
- Be willing to teach or mentor someone with less experience than you.
- Avoid gossiping or speaking negatively about anyone else on the job.
- If conflict or problems have to be addressed, use positive language and avoid accusations or painting someone in a negative light.
Encourage Employees To Take Breaks
As Jason Schreier wrote in The New York Times, workplace cultures that encourage non-stop work have damaging effects on their employees. He outlined a phenomenon called crunching, where video game developers work as many as 20 hours a day for days or weeks on end.
The designer Clint Hocking described suffering memory loss as a result of the stress and anxiety of crunching on a game. Brett Douville, a veteran game programmer, said he once worked so long and for so hard that he found himself temporarily unable to step out of his car.
If your employees are overloaded and continually sacrificing their leisure time to get stuff out the door, it might be time to reconsider their workload such as hiring more employees, or changing expectations.
And by encouraging them to take breaks throughout the day, employees will come back to the office less stressed and more productive.
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Use Time Blocking Technique
Switching between your inbox and chat all day may feel productive, but chances are you are not getting much real work done. Constant task switching is “busyness,” not productivity. And this habit can fuel procrastination, drive greater stress, and be detrimental to our mental well-being.Conversely, getting into the habit of making time for “deep work” is one of the best ways to improve performance and curb stress. The concept was coined by Cal Newport, a Computer Science professor at Georgetown University.According to research, time blocking “deep work” has many benefits. In addition to improving focus and concentration, it also helps to curb procrastination. Because procrastination is a major factor contributing to anxiety and stress, controlling procrastination is an effective way to combat stress in the long run.
For example, a study in the British Journal of Health Psychology showed that time blocking prevents procrastination and had a dramatic effect on participants behaviour. In short, time blocking motivates people to get things done.
Adopting this new work habit can also mean keeping your team in the loop when you are in “deep work” mode. Having a block of time in your public calendar marked as “do not disturb” will let your team know you are busy. Or simply tell them ahead of time!
You will be astonished by how productive you can be without distractions.
Employees Need A Say In How Assigned Tasks Are Performed
When employers have control over every aspect of their employees work it can cause employees to feel powerless. This is a major source of stress. Employees need some control regarding their responsibilities and a way to alter their tasks as necessary.
Do This: Give your employees the opportunity to adjust their jobs as needed. Allow them to make decisions that affect their productivity and give them control over a portion of their work.
Employees can even be put in teams that make decisions together on how to perform given tasks. Employees know their own strengths and weaknesses better than management. As teams regularly meet, review and evaluate performance, they can decide what is necessary to achieve the outcomes you desire.
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How To Craft Prevention Programs & Workshops
There is no single approach that helps all employees manage their stress all the time.
Instead, a multimodal approach should be considered when crafting prevention programs and workshops .
Most likely, it will be necessary to put in place learning and education that are both proactive and reactive.
Focus on preventing stress and promoting positive actions for all employees.
Interventions are likely to include:
- Conflict management
- Job redesign and the organization of work
- Coping skills
- Employee fitness programs
Focus on helping employees who need assistance.
Interventions are likely to include:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Rehabilitation after illness or returning to work
- Employee assistance programs
A multimodal approach combines multiple intervention styles and techniques, and can be rolled out across the organization while focusing on the individual .
What Causes Stress In The Workplace
There is no one cause of stress in the workplace. Every worker is an individual with their professional and personal lives bringing different factors that may influence their reactions to conditions in the workplace. However, there are factors within workplaces that have been shown to influence feelings of stress in the workplace. Some examples include:
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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. As a manager be sure to keep your team abreast of the latest developments and departmental changes. Whats more, open communication is a two way street and the more you communicate 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.
The Most Stressed Industries
Youll never be able to totally eradicate stress in the workplace. Some jobs are inherently high-pressure, and many businesses operate to tight deadlines.
We lifted original data from 300,000 users of the Edays system to reveal which industries and jobs are struggling the most when it comes to stress in the workplace. Our research has revealed industries such as healthcare, finance, government, and even HR have the biggest increases in working days lost as a result of stress since 2019.
As an employer, theres a lot you can do to stop things from spiraling out of control and managing stress leave effectively. Managing Stress in the workplace needs to be an ongoing commitment. But it might surprise you just how simple it can be to help your employees avoid burnout.
This is one area where the smallest thing can make a huge difference.
Here 7 simple ways to manage workplace stress:
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Get Employees Away From Their Desks
No employee should spend their lunch break sat at their desk, in front of their computer. The temptation to continue working, be it answering a few emails, is high, so you need to encourage your employees to break away from their desks and only return when their lunch break is well and truly over.
Create a breakroom that is catered to relaxation and socialization. Have comfortable couches, a table for workers to eat at, and even provide some entertainment. You could have a pool table or arcade game available, for example.
Avoid Irregular Work Schedules As Much As Possible
Salaried workers donât have to deal with varying work schedules, but hourly employees do. And itâs a huge stressor. Almost 30% of workers with irregular schedules report having serious work and family conflicts over the issue.
Random shift changes, on-call work schedules can all lead to stress, because workers are constantly in limbo when it comes to balance between work and life. They never know when theyâll need to work with much advance, and itâs difficult for them to make personal plans or even decompress when they could be called to work at any moment.
Try to create schedules that your employees can âbankâ on. Make sudden changes as rare as possible. Make it possible for your employees to rely on a steady schedule enough that they can arrange a solid personal life around their work schedule. This will help them return to work refreshed.
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Helpful Ways To Deal With Stress At Work
40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful. Thatâs a problem.
Regardless of what kind of work you do, the reality is that workplace stress is detrimental for employers and employees. Read on to find the causes of job stress, why itâs so harmful, and helpful tips to cope with workplace stress.
Take The Breaks You Are Given
Take your allotted breaks.
If thereâs a park or bit of nature nearby, go there. If your work environment is stressing you out, try to change your environment, either by going someplace else or by reading to get your mind in a different place.
You need a break, especially if youâre stressed. If management makes it difficult to take a break, press the issue. You have a legal right to breaks.
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Workplace stress isnt just, well, stressful. It can also do a number on your health, decrease your performance at work, and negatively affect the lives of those you love. According to a study by the CDC, 40% of American workers believe they have a job that is very or extremely stressful. And because the effects of stress in the workplace can be so detrimental, we believe its time more people start learning the tools for stress management in the workplace.
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Lack Of Job Feedback From Leadership
Unless employees receive feedback, they can worry about their job performance even when they are doing well. This can make it hard for employees to manage their stress. When leaders communicate with a spirit of encouragement, employees feel reassured and are more likely to communicate with leaders, especially during difficult challenges.
Do This: Employees need regular performance reviews. Employees need to know if they are exceeding your expectations or have things they can improve. Involving them in the process and letting them to set their own improvement goals will improve relationships and increase job satisfaction.
Do This: Encourage sharing in staff meetings. Ask for employee suggestions then share them at meetings. This will increase trust, motivation, and performance, all of which reduce stress.
Do This: Communicate regularly by email, newsletters, calls, chats, etc. This builds a relationship of trust. Whatever the form of communication, make the message simple, clear, and relevant.
Stay Off Of Social Media As Much As Possible During Work
Constant connection and the interruption of technology can increase your stress levels.
Social media, for example, can make you aware of stressful events happening to other people or in other places. They might not have any bearing on your life, but you allow yourself to feel stressed about them anyway. Itâs called the cost of caring.
As an interruption, social media and text messages can also add to stress. University of California Irvine found that employees who received a lot of emails were more stressed. They stayed in a âhigh alertâ mode all the time. Being constantly connected and going back and forth in response on social media or via text messages does the same thing. Additionally, it distracts you and slows you down and you end up feeling stress as you rush to catch up with the work you didnât do because you were busy on your phone.
Stay off social media and mobile devices as much as possible when on the job. The last thing you need is drama via social media or text messaging while youâre trying to get your work done.
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Strategies To Prevent Employee Burnout
Research into burnout in the workplace recognizes employee wellbeing through four dimensions :
- Work satisfaction
- Employer care
- Worklife integration
Balancing all four factors is essential to overall employee wellbeing and reduces the likelihood of long-term and ultimately overwhelming pressure.
The following strategies can help find that balance and protect against burnout .
Employees Should Be Able To Conveniently Change Work Hours When Needed
Allowing employees to have some control over their work schedule will manage stress levels. A worker with schedule flexibility is better able to find work/life balance, and is generally happier, more productive and more engaged at work.
For example, if an employee can choose when to start and finish work, they can be available for family needs, arrange to miss peak rush hour traffic, create time for exercise, etc.
Do This: Consider the use of flextime or other alternative work schedules such as part time, staggered hours, job sharing, shift working, and even telecommuting. These policies allow employees to manage stressful factors in all parts of their life.
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All Of Us Need To Learn How To Cope With Stress And Learn How To Reduce Stress In The Workplace In This Article Not Only Will We Be Considering The Different Cause Of Stress We Will Also Help You And Your Managers On How They Can Help Reduce Stress In The Workplace And Support Your Employees
As a great manager, you can reduce stress in the workplace by creating a healthy workplace environment. A healthy workplace environment is ideal when it comes to maintaining a positive outcome in a stressful atmosphere. As mentioned in one of our previous post Creating a Healthy Workplace Environment, a healthy workplace environment is good for your company as it could lead to bringing sales for the business.
What Employers Should Do To Reduce Workplace Stress
While personal responsibility is important, as an employer, you have a stake in employee satisfaction and mental wellbeing.
The best way to find out how your employees feel about their jobs is by using an employee motivation assessment from FindMojo. Our employee engagement tests are not the simple kind you find online. We spent 10 years developing the most comprehensive, scientifically valid employee motivation assessment ever created. The results show you exactly what you need to do to promote job satisfaction and talent retention.
The most successful companies invest in their employees rather than treating them as if they are disposable. Contact FindMojo today to order your employee motivation tests, and learn how to gain a better understanding of workplace motivation and how to better manage your employees.
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Help Them Set Their Goals
Because a lot of us spend so much time at work, it often has us questioning, Whats all this for? When you add workplace and outside stressors to that, its easy for employees to lose sight of what theyre working towards or why theyre working towards it. If you havent already, sit down with them to outline some professional goals. Together, come up with a plan as to how theyll achieve those goals, set clear expectations, and define how youll support them along the way.
Get Employees Out Of The Office
Fresh air has a whole host of benefits, and so you want to encourage your employees to head outside during their breaks. Build an outside space which includes benches for them to sit on, grass they could lay a rug on, and during the summer months, hold a company picnic. While you dont want to make it a forced event, the option for workers to come together can be enough to make employees feel happier.
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