Stress at work has always been an issue that leads to employee burnout and reduces satisfaction and productivity on the job, but the pandemic has brought a whole new level of stress to the workplace.
According to Gallup’s most recent State of the Global Workplace report, U.S. workers are among the most stressed employees in the world. In the past year, women, in particular, have felt the effects of stress – 62 percent report daily feelings of stress, compared to 52 percent of men. These numbers reflect the ongoing challenges around childcare, lower wages, and general disruptions due to the pandemic.
Employee stress takes a toll on your company’s productivity and bottom line. It leads to more missed days, lower productivity, higher turnover, and more expensive insurance due to the medical effects of stress.
The most common causes of workplace stress among employees include poor company culture, excessive workloads, poor management, and a lack of communication by managers and other leadership.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of how managers can reduce stress in the workplace to help you keep your employees happier, healthier, and more motivated at work.
1. Stress reduction workshops
A recent study found that a workplace stress reduction program improved levels of anxiety, depression, stress, mindfulness – and even processing speed and attention levels. Providing your employees with a stress management workshop is a great investment in workplace wellness, and it can help improve employee morale. Our marketplace has a wide range of workshops and seminars around reducing stress at the source and learning techniques for keeping stress levels to a minimum.
Book the Thriver Stress & Burnout Series, a three-session program that helps your employees understand stress, address it in healthy ways, and develop skills and strategies to prevent it.
2. Meditation club
Meditation is a well-known stress reducer. Mindfulness meditation not only reduces overall feelings of stress but also helps you cope with it better down the road. Regular meditation lowers levels of anxiety and depression, helps reduce cravings, and may even improve your immune system and overall wellbeing. A meditation club engages employees in this stress-relieving practice and allows them to relax, bond, and learn important skills.
Treat your employees to our enlightening Meditation Club Mindfulness Series, a four-session program that leads your team through a guided visualization, followed by a mind-clearing sound bath.
3. Workplace Wellness Series
The importance of health and wellbeing at work isn’t a new idea. Employers have been putting much greater focus on workplace wellness with the added stress and burnout that the pandemic has wrought on our workers. Workshops that focus on employee wellbeing offer effective tools to reduce the stress that leads to burnout and improve employee motivation and productivity.
Give your employees the gift of the Cultivate: Workplace Wellness Series. This four-part program emphasizes holistic nutrition education and provides lifestyle management tools to enhance employee wellbeing.
4. Offer Leadership Training for Managers
It’s no surprise that a company leader’s management style has an immense impact on employee stress levels. Over-managing often leaves employees with a sense that they can never get it right. Under-managing deprives employees of the resources and guidance they need to succeed. Good management skills help a company leader do their part in keeping added stress away from their employees.
Provide your managers and supervisors with the tools they need to be effective leaders through a Thriver leadership program. Thriver has numerous leadership workshops and seminars to help managers communicate effectively, provide workers with positive support, and steer employees toward success.
5. Have fun in the workplace
Looming deadlines, increasing workloads, and the serious day-to-day grind all contribute to escalating employee stress. Often, allowing employees to spend time with work friends and blow off steam lets them forget the pressures of work for a while and fosters a positive outlook toward coworkers. Offering fun and joy to your teammates is a great way to help reduce their stress levels and promote team bonding.
Give your employees some enjoyment. Whether in the office or away from the workplace, Thriver has a vast array of great ideas to help your employees have some fun.
6. Alternate high-stress and low-stress work times
Stress is the body’s normal response to demands. In small amounts, stress can help drive productivity. But the mind and body need time to relax and recharge. Without these rest periods, stress can become physically and psychologically toxic.
Most jobs have high-stress tasks, like getting all the information for a report by the end of the day. Most also have low-stress tasks, such as checking emails and filing finished documentation. Give employees established times or days in which they’re allowed to focus on low-stress tasks. Doing this lets them get the necessary work done while also helping them recharge. Employees will then be better equipped to effectively complete the next series of high-stress tasks.
7. Build flexibility into the work schedule
The work culture in America has evolved into a 9-5, five-day week standard. A 9-5 schedule doesn’t work for everybody. Morning people start to drag in the afternoon, and night owls crawl through morning routines while their brains are minimally functional.
Offer your employees a flex-time option to manage their work schedules. Flexible hours have very little – if any – financial impact on a company. If they’re allowed to work when they’re at their peak levels of motivation and creativity, employees will flourish. They’re more satisfied and more productive, positively impacting any organization’s bottom line.
Workplace stress isn’t going anywhere, but there are many ways you can support your employees and managers to reduce and manage stress at work. Reducing the impact of stress to help prevent burnout at work is the best step any organization can take to improve company culture and drive success for their teams.
The Thriver marketplace is packed with resources for creating a low-stress workplace and a culture of cooperation and support.