A workplace has more challenges than ever before. The targets are high, there is an array of distractions, and corporate restructuring in major companies are making people have sleepless nights as they are uncertain of their future.
In all this, it becomes really difficult to concentrate and be productive, causing your employees to become stressed. And stress is never a good thing!
Not only does stress make for a less-than-pleasing experience for your workforce, it also takes a major toll on the health of your staff, on your budget and employee turnover rate.
So, how do you go about making your employees stress-free at your workplace despite all the hurdles? Well here are seven tips that might be helpful:
1. Lead by example
If you wish to reduce stress in the workplace, it is important that managers lead by example. As a leader, it is crucial that you mask your own emotions and don’t let your own negativity, stress or anger rub off on your employees and workers.
Practice what you preach and make sure that you also give yourself time to de-stress every now and then— enjoy quality time with your family, go for a run, or socialize with friends.
Also, organizing walking meetings instead of being stuck in a boring boardroom, booking holidays and taking regular breaks will not only improve your cognitive functions and wellbeing, but it will also shows your employees that it’s okay to take some time out every now and then.
2. Introduce social activities
Employees spend a lot of time with other workers, thus it is very important that they get along. When employees don’t get along, the office becomes a battleground. However, if people enjoy their time at work and enjoy the company of their co-workers, there will be a better atmosphere for them to work in. And a better atmosphere at the office results in collaboration, creativity, and productivity.
To do this, consider setting aside an hour a week to bring your employees together in a fun and relaxing environment— go out for lunch or host games. Create teams within the business to promote collaboration and introduce some healthy competition. You could even get custom t-shirts made for each team to help spur on that team spirit, maybe even let them design their own t-shirts to really boost their engagement.
3. Introduce a workplace wellness scheme
A healthy lifestyle and regular exercise are crucial when it comes to battling stress.
So, as the employer, consider introducing an employee wellness scheme, such as running a group-wide healthy eating challenge or paying a portion of employees’ gym memberships which provides your employee a chance to unwind and also feel better about themselves.
There are a number of different elements you can include in a corporate wellness program, all of which can be tailored to suit your workforce’s needs.
4. Provide a space in the office where employees can relax
Sometimes, all a person needs is a few minutes to relax. This is especially true for employees who are under constant pressure to perform, thanks to overflowing deadlines and workloads. Relaxing for even 15 minutes and taking a break from general work-related interactions could go a long way in reducing stress and preventing burnouts.
To do this, provide a chill-out zone or quiet room where employees can spend some time. Most people feel refreshed and more motivated to tackle the rest of the day after taking a short – and restful - break.
5. Think about their environment
What do companies like Apple, Google and Facebook do differently? Well, they think about every possible detail and that includes their employee’s work environment.
However, not all companies can create their own worker village, complete with a clinic, indoor bike lanes, and health food restaurants. But, there’s always room for improvement, especially in boosting productivity and job satisfaction.
Think about using some of your budget for more modern office furniture or a brighter working environment by changing the color of the walls with something fresher and cleaner. Invest in some new pictures, or add some plants. Even the smallest changes like new kitchenware or office cutlery can make a working environment more favorable.
If you have some space that is not used, transform it into a playroom, with ping-pong tables or a lounging area, all of which can help to boost morale.
6. Communicate with your employees
Open communication is crucial in leadership. Keeping your employees up to date about certain changes, your expectations, and their own performance will allow them to stay on track and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
After all, there’s nothing worse than being kept in the dark. As a leader, make sure to keep your employees well-informed with the latest changes and developments.
The more you talk to your employees, the more they can share thoughts, ideas or concerns which can help solve company problems and create a stronger working relationship for a healthier company culture.
7. Allow remote working and flexible times
A major stress inducer in the workplace can be fixed working hours. A flexi-time scheme or allowing your employees to work remotely is proven good for their morale and therefore, profitability.
Not only do you impart a message to your employees that you trust them, by allowing them to manage their own time, but you also take away the added stress like child care considerations from employees who are parents.
You only need to make sure that you manage this kind of flexibility with open communication and outlining clear parameters and expectations.
Daily work pressures are doubled by the current troubled economy as well as constant news streams of layoffs and foreclosures. This impacts employees, making them feel more stressed than ever. Therefore, it’s important that businesses make stress-relieving activities and schemes a top priority.
Author: Davis Miller is a writer and mainly focuses on business-related topics. He also enjoys reading business magazines in his free time.