How Managers Or Employers Can Reduce Stress At Work
Employees who are suffering from work-related stress can lead to lower productivity, lost workdays, and a higher turnover of staff. As a manager, supervisor, or employer, though, you can help lower workplace stress. The first step is to act as a positive role model. If you can remain calm in stressful situations, its much easier for your employees to follow suit.
Consult your employees. Talk to them about the specific factors that make their jobs stressful. Some things, such as failing equipment, understaffing, or a lack of supervisor feedback may be relatively straightforward to address. Sharing information with employees can also reduce uncertainty about their jobs and futures.
Communicate with your employees one-on-one.Listening attentively face-to-face will make an employee feel heard and understood. This will help lower their stress and yours, even if youre unable to change the situation.
Deal with workplace conflicts in a positive way. Respect the dignity of each employee establish a zero-tolerance policy for harassment.
Give workers opportunities to participate in decisions that affect their jobs. Get employee input on work rules, for example. If theyre involved in the process, theyll be more committed.
Avoid unrealistic deadlines. Make sure the workload is suitable to your employees abilities and resources.
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STRESS At Work Causes of stress at work and how to prevent it.
Coping with Stress at Work Common sources and the steps you can take.
Helpful Tips For Reducing Workplace Stress
Workplace stress can lead to several health issues, including weakened immunity and increased risk of heart disease. While some form of pressure at work is inevitable, there are many different strategies you can implement to combat workplace stress. Below are several ways in which an individual can reduce stress at work and achieve a better work-life balance:
Bring Some Diversions Into The Office
The team that plays together, works better together.
There are an infinite number of fun activities you can bring in to reduce workplace stress, whether theyre permanent fixtures or for a special occasion. Here are a few ideas:
Ping pong table
It may sound counterintuitive to bring diversions into a place of work, but allowing your employees to let loose during the day will help them deal with stress in the workplace and boost employee productivity and morale.
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Boost Employee Career Happiness
The average employee spends 13 years and two months at work. In fact, its what we spend the most time doing in our lifetimes . Can you imagine spending that much time doing something that makes you unhappy? When employees arent happy in their careers, they likely see their job as a burden and stressor, forcing them to sacrifice the things theyd rather be doing.
When employees have to work, they feel they cant spend time with their family, travel, get a puppy, meet up with friends, or pursue their dreams. Managers can use these tips to uncover these feelings and help motivate their employees to continue achieving their personal and professional goals.
Spot Emotions and Provide an Outlet for Expression
Assess career outlook early on in your employees lifecycle. Consider launching new hire surveys at 30, 60, and 90 days to capture their sentiments at different stages. Employees might feel a little anxious or excited when they first start, but how does that change after a few months? Emotions at certain points in their tenure can provide insights into how to improve the employee experience and mitigate talent-risk.
Coach Toward a Fulfilling Career
Continuously challenging employees helps keep the doors open for new opportunities to engage and delight them. Use a variety of mediums like engagement surveys, pulse surveys, one-on-ones, or performance reviews to collect ongoing, real-time feedback about their career goals.
Develop and Grow Employee Skills and Strengths
Tips To Reduce Workplace Stress
The first step to feeling better is to identify the cause of your stress. Although it may not feel like it at times, theres a solution to every problem. Failing to take control of the situation and remaining passive will only serve to make the problem worse. In fact, feeling a loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing.
No matter what you do for a living, or how stressful your job is, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your overall stress levels and regain a sense of control at work. Despite this, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, so you have to discover what works best for you.
How to reduce stress at work:
- Establish boundaries
- Organise some me time
- Try practising mindfulness
- Take short breaks throughout the day
- Eat healthy and nutritious foods
- Start exercising
- Get enough sleep
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Five Ways To Reduce Stress
- Take time away. If the stress at work increases, try to take a short break and get away from the stressful situation. If possible, take a walk outside the workplace or spend a few minutes meditating in the break room. Physical exercise or finding a quiet place to regain your balance can quickly relieve stress.
- Talk it over with someone. In some situations, it can help relieve stress by simply sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust. Talking about a problem with someone who is both supportive and empathetic can be a great way to let off steam and relieve stress.
- Connect with others in the workplace. Developing friendships with some of your colleagues can help you protect yourself from the negative effects of stress. Remember to listen to them and offer support when they are also in need.
- Look for humor in this situation. If used appropriately, humor is a great way to relieve stress at work. If you or those around you start to take things too seriously, find a way to lighten the mood by sharing a joke or a funny story.
Lack Of Understanding About Leadership Structure And Roles
A lack of understanding about leadership structure creates stress. When employees understand leadership structure, there is less conflict, which enhances productivity and morale.
Do This: Create and honor a clear leadership structure so everyone knows to whom they are accountable. This will improve the efficiency of work and contribute to a more relaxed environment.
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Causes Of Stress At Work
The narrative data on participants’ understanding of factors that may cause stress at work suggested working conditions, management practices, nature of job, life events and financial factors . The majority of participants referred to working conditions as a main source of stress. Working conditions were mainly related to factors such as workload, the physical environment , long working hours, heavy workloads and understaffing.
Write Down Your Stressors
Identifying and recording stressful situations can help you understand whats bothering you. Some of these can be subtle sources of tension, such as an uncomfortable workspace or a long commute.
Keep a journal for 1 week to track your stress triggers and your reactions to them. Make sure to include the people, places, and events that gave you a physical, mental, or emotional response.
As you write, ask yourself:
- How did this make me feel?
- What was my reaction?
- What are some ways of resolving it?
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Take The Team Out On Company Offsites
If you really want to give your employees a break, take them somewhere fun to get their minds off workplace stress and bond with each other. The possibilities are endless: you could go to a vineyard, grab a drink together at the local pub, check out a baseball game, or have a picnic in the park.
The activity you choose isnt important. Whats more important is the spirit of getting out to do something fun together, to take away from the day-to-day stress at work. Not only will it help reduce workplace stress, it will also help your employees build personal connections and work better together as a team.
Practice Good Health Habits
While anxiety can cause insomnia, try your best to stick to a regular sleep/wake cycle. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, cut down and avoid consuming it past mid-morning when it’s most likely to disrupt your nighttime sleep. In addition to getting adequate sleep, fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods and getting regular exercise can also help you manage your stress.
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What Causes Workplace Anxiety
You may feel anxiety at work for a variety of reasons. These may be directly related to your job, especially if you:
- Are experiencing interpersonal conflicts with your co-workers
- Don’t feel like you have the ability to control your work
- Lack of job security
- Often face deadlines that are too short
- Regularly have days that are unpredictable
- Work in a particularly fast-paced and competitive environment
- Work on daily tasks that are too difficult or ambiguous
Workplace anxiety can also occur due to someone’s individual characteristics or circumstances. For example, you may experience anxiety at work if you:
- Are distracted by other concerns, like problems at home
- Don’t feel motivated to achieve your goals at work
- Feel like you lack the skills or knowledge needed to do your job
- Have an anxiety disorder or another mental health condition
- Have difficulty understanding and managing your emotions
How To Overcome Overwork
The typical response at this point would be to blame the American work culture, make a statement about how your boss would never allow you to work less, and point a finger at The Man.
But heres the thing
While I agree that we need to put more emphasis on healthy work environments for everyone from investment bankers to medical residents to coal miners I also believe its your personal responsibility to go to work on yourself, just as much as its your responsibility to go to work in general.
Dont play the role of the victim and wait for your boss, your company, or your government to step in and make your health a priority. It’s your health. Do it yourself. Besides, even if you’re lucky enough to work at a company that really focuses on a healthy work environment, it’s still up to you to actually take advantage of the opportunities.
And if you’re in a terrible work environment, you can still do something. Your circumstances rarely prevent you from making progress. That progress may be slow, difficult, or unsexy but you have options.
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Employees Need Training To Do Their Jobs Well
One source of job stress is the disparity between a persons capabilities and the requirements of the job they are asked to perform. Often, this stress can be alleviated with training and education. An employee who is properly trained and educated will have the confidence and ability they need to do their job well and better manage their stress.
Do This: Provide training and continuing education for your employees. Most employers require new hires to be trained, but many do not provide on-going training.
Ask more experienced employees to assist in trainings. This will improve morale and will help transfer institutional knowledge from older to younger workers.
You can also allow employees to rotate through other divisions of the company for cross-training, provide access to external education at colleges or training centers, or even offer funding for distance learning through online programs.
Where possible, completion of training should be recognized and praised. Remember to regularly assess training programs by asking those who have been trained for their input and suggestions.
Ways To Eliminate Stress At Work
The average business professional has 30 to 100 projects on their plate. Modern workers are interrupted seven times an hour and distracted up to 2.1 hours a day. And four out of 10 people working at large companies are experiencing a major corporate restructuring, and therefore facing uncertainly about their futures. This may be why more than 40% of adults say they lie awake at night plagued by the stressful events of the day.
“People are asking me for answers,” says Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., a business psychologist and author of just released Success Under Stress. “Everyone feels overwhelmed and overly busy.”
Is there a way to maintain steady focus throughout the day? Is it possible to do everything that needs to get done and still have energy left over after work? How do you keep cool under so many demands? Informed by 10 years of Harvard research and field-tested by more than 6,000 clients and trainees, Melnick offers the following strategies to take your work stress down a peg, before it takes over your life.
Act Rather Than React
Take A Deep Breath
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or are coming out of a tense meeting and need to clear your head, a few minutes of deep breathing will restore balance, says Melnick. Simply inhale for five seconds, hold and exhale in equal counts through the nose. “It’s like getting the calm and focus of a 90-minute yoga class in three minutes or less at your desk,” she says.
Schedule Your Day For Energy And Focus
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Employees Should Be Encouraged To Take Breaks During The Day To Help Manage Stress
Short breaks throughout the day allow employees to recharge and refocus. Regular breaks help employees work more effectively.
Do This: Encourage employees to take regular mini-breaks. If leaders take breaks and invite others to join, they likely will. This will help set the acceptable length and type of a break. Walk for five minutes, stretch, get some fresh air, meditate, listen to music, or even just get a glass of water. Also suggest that employees get away from their desks during the lunch hour.
Turn Your Workplace Into A Healthy Stress
The role of an employer is to ensure the safety of its workforce. This includes their physical and mental well-being. With the above tips, you can create a work culture that revolves around maintaining a healthy and safe workplace.
If you believe offering flexible schedules will improve your work environment. download the Employer’s Guide to Workplace Wellnesstoday.
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Easy employee scheduling and Time & Attendance
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Look Into Bringing Some Wellness Into The Workplace
Sometimes, all that is needed is to practice a bit of wellness. This doesnt have to include going to a fancy spa or doing yoga on a rooftop. It can be something small that can be brought into the workplace. Thankfully, there are a few ways to bring in some wellness with you while youre going to work, even if you work at home. This can include
- Browsing through funny pictures or watching a funny video during your breaks
- Keeping hydrated
- Adding greenery around your workspace with plants
- Getting in enough natural light
- Having aromatics around you such as candles
- Getting outside during break time for fresh air
These are small things that can be easily incorporated, especially if you have an office to yourself. But in general, try to have some of these things as they can help bring a sense of calmness to your chaotic work environment.
Know When Its Not Working
Because of the toll that ongoing conflict can exact from a person, sometimes its advisable to put some distance in the relationship or cut ties completely.
In cases of abuse, simple conflict resolution techniques can only take you so far, and personal safety needs to take priority.
When dealing with difficult family members, on the other hand, adding a few boundaries and accepting the other persons limitations in the relationship can bring some peace. In friendships that are unsupportive or characterized by ongoing conflict, letting go may be a great source of stress relief. Only you can decide if a relationship can be improved, or should be let go.
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How To Monitor Stress Levels In The Workplace
Often, the stress that employees feel goes undetected. In an effort to portray a positive image, many employees choose to not come forth about problems that they are facing. This can create difficulties for HR professionals who wish to target and reduce employee stress at work.
Before looking for a solution, its important to have an idea of the problem. In order to get an idea of the stress employees undergo, human resources can use a workplace stress survey. This will allow them to understand the causes of stress and symptoms.
Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation involves relaxing all the muscles in your body, group by group. To practice, you can start with a few deep breaths.
Then, practice tightening and relaxing each muscle group, starting with your forehead and moving down to your toes.
With practice, you’ll learn to recognize tension and tightness in your muscles and you’ll be able to relax more easily. Each time you practice, however, you should experience a feeling of relaxation sweeping through your body.
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