In times of economic uncertainty, work-related stress can increase, especially if staff have to do more with less resources. There could also be the possibiity of staff-cuts and other downsizing measures, increasing general anxiety levels. Many managers shy away from dealing with stress management in the workplace, perhaps because they are feeling stressed themselves. But ineffective stress management in the workplace has a major affect on employee productivity. Employees who feel passionate about their work and feel energised going to work are the key to a business’s success. Says DrakePulse: those who are stressed out incur greater health care costs, get into more accidents, make more mistakes, fear and resist change, think inside the box, and give brand-damaging customer service.
Companies can be proactive and promote healthier, more productive employees and reduce healthcare costs. Research has shown that organisations that help to bring out the best in people have found ways for employees to feel energised by workplace demands, rather than stressed out. Here are a few tips on how managers can play their part in reducing stress management in the workplace:
- Value your staff
As a manager, there is a very powerful way of reducing stress management in the workplace: it’s valuing the work people are doing. Avoid perfectionism and micromanaging, where possible. Give workers opportunities to participate in decisions and actions affecting their jobs. The more opportunity employees have to make decisions, use their mind, and take responsibility, the more fulfilled they will be. Involve them in defining their roles and responsibilities. Ensure that workloads are in line with workers’ capabilities ooand resources.
- Be transparent about company matters
Communicate effectively and openly about important company matters – changes taking place, performance expectations, work opportunities, the marketplace, the value of the work the company does (in other words, the greater impact it has on the economy and society around it).
- Appreciate that your workers are human
Here are a few ways to consider showing your appreciation of this:
- Make sure they have the resources and training they need
- Provide a pleasant workspace
- Encourage well-being and healthy lifestyles, including exercise and good diet
- Provide opportunities for social interaction among workers, and encourage the development of a social network in the workplace. This could include organising a few tea-building activities.
- Importantly, establish work schedules that are compatible with demands and responsibilities outside the job
Explore the use of Flexi time to reduce stress management in the workplace. Allowing workers to start or end the workday earlier or later can reduce work/life stress, especially for working parents. It can also reduce the stress of commuting in rush hour traffic.
Explore working from home. Working from home results in higher morale and job satisfaction and lower employee stress and turnover, according to an analysis of two-decades of studies involving nearly 13 thousand employees, conducted by researchers at Pennsylvania State University.
Employees who work from home have more control over how they do their work. It can also help workers better manage work/family demands.
Making changes in work schedules should involve open communication, and outlining of clear work expectations and parameters.
- Create a workplace culture that discourages harmful stress: fleet management solutions could assist with this.
Should you be a financial manager that has to be involved in your company’s fleet management function, consider outsourcing this to a specialist service provider. Often, fleet management activities are divided among internal staff, burdening them because it isn’t their core function and they lack the knowledge to carry out the complexity of fleet management effectively. If employees are exhausted, frustrated and de-motivated they will not have the energy to perform well. They need the tools, time, technology and training to jobs well. And the confidence that management respects them and their needs.