Last Updated on 26/11/2020 by Deepak Singla
Workplace stress has been a major problem for every employee at every company. It is very natural to feel stressed at a workplace due to the workload, the never-ending targets, pressure of meeting deadlines, and lack of job security. In some cases, personnel problems gang up and overwhelm the employees!
Long exposure to stressors can wreak havoc on employee health and productivity. Stressed workers are more likely to drink, smoke, be inactive, eat unhealthy food, have relationship issues, and get sick more often. All of this means decreased productivity. Job stress costs billions of dollars every year because it leads to more medical expenses, absenteeism, and workers’ compensation claims.
So what can you do to reduce stress among the employees? How can you reduce all the negative consequences of work stress?
By facing the problem head-on! Reduce the impact of stress on your staff with the following 11 techniques:
1. Revamp the workplace
It might seem trivial, but a lot of stress comes from the environment! The way an office is decorated can impact the stress levels of the employees. Looking at white or grey colored walls with ugly aesthetics can take a toll on the employees’ mental health.
As an employer, you can help in reducing the stress that the environment causes by brightening up the spaces with natural light and colors or simply by a virtual birthday celebration. Update the office with an upbeat color scheme, add plants, or add new silverware. It can also prove to be helpful if employees are allowed to set up, organize, decorate, and even paint their workspace. The more personalized their space is, the more comfortable they will feel at their workspace.
If your office has space, think about adding a ping pong or foosball table to allow employees to take their minds off of their stress for a few minutes. Any changes that can increase employee-enjoyment will leave them feeling less stressed or overworked.
2. Keep your employees’ health in-check
Exercise and healthy living are the best weapons against workplace stress. Exercise can take employees’ minds off the workplace stress and allows them to focus on the task at hand. It can also improve the employee’s mood by increasing the production of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. you can also provide best health insurance plans for their health security
Simple activities like encouraging employees to go on a walk during lunch breaks, subsidizing gym memberships, bringing a yoga instructor into the office once a month, holding a steps contest among teams for those who own fitness trackers, and offering healthy snacks in the office can make a huge impact!
Employees feel valued when they think that employers are looking out for their health! A study conducted by Peapod.com reported that 66% of employees felt ‘extremely or very happy’ when the refrigerator and cupboards are regularly stocked, and 83% said that having healthy and fresh snack options in the fridge is a huge perk.
Something as simple as keeping fresh fruits and fresh yogurt in the fridge goes a long way to decrease employee stress.
3. Organize staff trips and excursions
Organizing a staff excursion once a month and a staff-trip once every year can increase productivity by ten-folds.
Planning activities such as escape-rooms can serve a dual purpose. Firstly escape rooms are a great 60-minute recreational activity and can help reduce stress and secondly, escape rooms increase team-engagement and communication skills among the employees.
A fun activity like this will not only be an exhilarating experience for your employees but also will hone the corporate skills of your staff.
Also, a staff trip will not only keep the staff happy but also will help increase the productivity of each employee!
4. Create stress relief breaks
Stress can’t be completely avoided, but you can help your employees cope with it when it arrives.
Make sure your employees have a quiet place where they can take small breaks. Researches show that more than 80 percent of disengaged employees would prefer the opportunity to have stress-relief breaks such as massages, naps, or some solace in a quiet room when they feel stressed. A small room, a lounge space, or an outdoor bench can be a perfect place to find refuge from the chaos of the daily grind. This can help reduce the stress and anxiety of overwhelmed employees due to the heavy workload.
5. Give your employees the appreciation they deserve
everyone loves appreciation for doing a job well and being praised for the same. In the same way, recognizing an employee’s success results in a serious boost of engagement.
Each employee has a different personality, so it is important to be thoughtful when considering how and when to appreciate their efforts or hard-work. Some employees love a call-out during a meeting, while more reserved-types might prefer a thank you or appreciation in-person.
Your employees will be very happy after learning the fact that you are aware of their success and want to share it with others. This makes them happier and more confident which in turn has a positive impact on their mental health.
6. Arrange on-site or distance counseling
Many companies have started providing counseling by a professional counselor/ therapist as a way for employees to help deal with stress.
Recent studies prove that many workers feel they need help in learning how to manage workplace stress. The counseling can occur in the office or somewhere else. There can also be individual as well as group counseling sessions. This strategy can help employees prepare for stress that will come their way.
7. Promote social interactions in the workplace
Employees spend a lot of time at work together. The more comfortable they feel at their workplace, the less stressed they will feel. As coworkers get to know each other, their interaction helps in building up a friendly and comfortable workspace and therefore aid in reducing stress.
8. Put inspirational quotes in the workplace setting
Hearing or reading just the right inspirational quote at just the right time can instantly give your day a 180-degree turn. It can aid in fighting stress by rendering you with a new positive outlook. Quotes on the bulletin board in a break-room can serve the purpose well.
9. Schedule flexibility for the over-worked employees
You hired your employees because you have confidence that they will do their jobs well and on time—so let your employees prove you right. An office shouldn’t feel like a jail cell. Rather an office is a place that facilitates getting a job done. Let your employees know that their job is defined by the quality of their work and the on-time submission of it. It is not about when they punch the clock and enter the office. Sometimes you need to allow your employees to work from home option or work remotely from anywhere if they can’t show up in the office on a day, and give flexibility for start and end their day. This freedom is great for office morale, and these policies show the staff that you trust them enough to not babysit them.
10. Giving employees a say in the tasks assigned to them
When the boss has control over every aspect of their employees’ work, it can cause employees to feel powerless. This can be a major stressor. Employees need to have some control over their responsibilities and a say to alter their tasks if they find it necessary. The staff should be allowed to make decisions that affect their productivity. Employees can also be put in teams that can take decisions together on how to perform given tasks. Employees do know their strengths and weaknesses better than the management team. Therefore, this strategy will not only reduce stress but also increase productivity.
11. Opportunities to grow and be promoted should be provided to the staff
Employees need opportunities to advance and be promoted. If employees do not see these opportunities, their morale and performance may go down as they will feel they are working for nothing. The staff should be provided with opportunities for career advancement. A raise or promotion should be offered every 3-5 years. It will be great for employees’ mental health and productivity as they will rise to the challenge.
Employees’ mental health is essential for their own self as well as for company productivity. Stress can hamper the perfect mental balance, and hence it is essential to reduce the stress levels in an office or a workplace. These tips will help in bringing the stress levels down and will benefit the overall health of the employees!