4 Ideas to Reduce Employee Stress
Life for many people is a constant juggle: children’s schedules, elderly parents, finances, doctor’s appointments and social engagements. Then, each morning, begins a new day at work that involves more juggling: meetings, employee and upper management demands, deadlines, emails, and piles of work to produce. The daily stressors are sometimes unavoidable and have a way of compounding exponentially.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 percent of all employees view their jobs as the number one stressor. Employee stress can lead to decreased productivity, higher staff turnover, increased health costs and employee burnout.
The long-term health consequences of stress can include increased risk of heart attack and stroke, obesity, depressed immunity, gastrointestinal problems, and longer recovery from illness. While it is difficult to alter the pace and intensity of modern life, employers can take simple steps to create a better environment for employees.
Foster physical well-being. Provide a work environment that inspires healthy behaviors, such as serving nutritious foods at meetings and encouraging employees to take walks outside during the day. Let upper management know it is important to model good coping behaviors and healthy habits such as getting adequate sleep, being active during the day and stepping away from the office for a mental break.
Promote positive working relationships. Create ways for social networks to develop in the workplace that enable employees to have more enjoyable experiences while at work. Hold team building and social events for staff. Build time into meetings so employees can talk and connect on a personal level. These social networks are the beginnings of positive support systems for employees.
Celebrate successes. Implement processes that regularly celebrate employee successes. Create a culture where employees acknowledge each other’s accomplishments and are recognized for their achievements. Instead of highlighting and dwelling on things that go wrong, give an employee a pat on the back when things go well.
Recharge. Encourage employees to take their morning and afternoon breaks and stress that vacations should not be interrupted by work emails and calls. Managers should not only communicate this message but need to lead by example. Vacation time can restore employees’ creativity and provide the motivation to return to work energized.
Wellness Workdays works with organizations across the country to implement programs to reduce employee stress. Contact us to learn more.