While a certain degree of stress in the workplace can be expected, too much of it isn’t healthy for employees. Furthermore, it can hinder a company’s productivity by increasing turnover and absenteeism.
According to a survey on anxiety and stress by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, seven in 10 adults who experience work-related stress say it affects their personal relationships, mainly with spouses.
The survey’s results show the main sources of workplace stress are deadlines, 55 percent; interpersonal relationships, 53 percent; staff management, 50 percent; and dealing with problems, 49 percent.
But, most workers aren’t comfortable talking with their employer about their stress. Fewer than 40 percent of employees who said stress interfered with their work spoke with their employer about it.
That’s unfortunate because managers can play an important role in creating less stressful work environments and helping employees address and manage stress.
Here are seven ways to de-stress your work environment
- Allow flexible work schedules, if possible. This can reduce stress related to commuting, child care concerns, and overall work-life balance.
- Communicate openly with employees. Keep them informed of departmental and company changes. Ask for their feedback and be available to talk anytime.
- Speak positively and give sincere compliments of work done well. Recognize and reward employees.
- Encourage employees to take regular breaks away from desks and computer screens, particularly at lunchtime.
- Offer your staff opportunities for community service as a group outside of the office.
- Organize a lunchtime walking program for employees to exercise and calm themselves.
- Don’t micro-manage employees. Steve Jobs said, ”It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Stress is related to various physical problems including headaches, stomach aches, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. Workers who can manage their stress are healthier physically as well as mentally. Yet, many employees simply accept ongoing stress at work as an unpleasant fact of life.
It doesn’t have to be that way. As an employer or manager, you can help to alleviate employee stress, create a healthier workplace, and improve employee satisfaction, morale, and productivity.
TriStarr’s HR consulting services can help reduce your stress
Perhaps you would like to lighten your workload and your own stress. Could you benefit from assistance with workplace communications, training, temp staffing, or recruiting? At TriStarr, an HR consulting firm and employment agency in Lancaster, Pa., we would be glad to partner with you for a solution to your HR challenges. TriStarr’s professional team has more than 60 years of experience in administrative staffing, recruiting, and HR consulting services. Contact us online, or give us a call at (717) 560-2111.