Tight deadlines, high expectations and personal commitments are all examples of stressors that negatively affect employee productivity and contribute to absenteeism and turnover. According to the American Institute of Stress, workplace stress costs U.S. businesses more than $300 billion annually, in addition to the physical and mental toll employees endure.
While the majority of the responsibility of managing stress may lie with the individual employee, there are steps employers can take to help reduce stress in the workplace.
- Create an office environment that encourages physical activity – Employers can provide standup desks or initiate “walking meetings” in order to get employees out of their offices while still being productive. Some companies even offer additional health and wellness benefits to employees such as monthly gym or yoga memberships. Offering employees the opportunity to be physically active versus sedentary all day is a minor accommodation that could have an immense impact on managing everyday stress.
- Establish a culture of open communication – A major source of stress stems from unrealistic expectations, under staffing, and/or unclear goals. Managers should maintain open communication with employees on their workload, how stressed they are at any given time and whether they need assistance. This will provide employees the opportunity to voice their concerns and ask for help.
- Provide recognition to employees – One of the simplest, cost-free ways employers can help reduce stress in the workplace is offering recognition to employees. Employees who receive recognition and positive feedback on a regular basis typically feel more engaged and have higher job satisfaction. This can be accomplished through one-on-one meetings, announcements to the team regarding individual accomplishments and showing a genuine interest in employee’s personal aspirations.
Stress is inevitable in today’s work environment and fast-paced society. Professional and personal commitments can often compound to create a perfect storm of worry and apprehension. However, employers can do their part to help reduce employee stress levels in order to create a healthy and productive work environment.
To learn more about implementing or improving stress management initiatives within the workplace, contact an HR professional at EctoHR, Inc. at 810-534-0170 or firstname.lastname@example.org.