It’s tough to focus on work when feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, but it’s even harder to ignore it when your team depends on you to get things done. The workplace can be a highly stressful environment, as you’re trying to juggle the demands of your job with the demands of your personal life. If your workplace has become more stressful than productive, take action today with these seven ways to reduce workplace stress for your employees and make things easier for everyone involved.
Schedule Team Meetings
If you’re feeling stressed out, your team probably is too. Schedule a meeting and ask people how they’re doing. Their answers will help you focus on what specific steps you can take to prevent burnout from happening within your team. Is there work that needs to be delegated? Are deadlines approaching quickly? Are there personal problems that are getting in people’s way?
Offer to go around with individuals or pairs of employees and listen. These conversations might sound small, but getting employees involved can make them feel valued and important—both of which reduce stress levels. Remember, the more involved your workers feel with their jobs, the less likely they will get burned out at work.
Separate Personal Issues From Work
If you are stressed out because of family issues, it can be hard to focus on your job at hand. Having a supportive workplace can help reduce stress by eliminating unnecessary tasks and helping you create a better work-life balance.
Be sure that you are aware of everyone’s situation and that you let employees take advantage of any company benefits that might help offset some of their problems (for example, paid time off for doctors’ appointments or family emergencies). If those things aren’t available, talk with HR about creating an official exception for some situations.
Create an Atmosphere Where People Feel Secure
Having a stable job is valuable, especially in a world where companies are cutting corners more often. Being able to put food on your table, pay rent and afford healthcare shouldn’t be considered luxuries for employees; it should be their right. One way you can maintain that security is by creating an atmosphere where your workers feel secure in their jobs.
Make sure your company has an excellent track record of ensuring staff retention. Your people are likely much happier if they’re not worried about losing their jobs and give your team members opportunities to grow within your organization. These small gestures will go a long way toward reducing stress levels at work. And when everyone’s more relaxed, productivity goes up, too.
Get Everyone on the Same Page
When your employees aren’t communicating, it can lead to mistakes and frustration. Schedule a weekly meeting with all of your employees, no matter how big or small your team is. In the meeting, discuss what needs to be done, who is doing what, and how things are going. If you have an employee who doesn’t speak up often, ask them one-on-one about projects that may be weighing on their mind, so they feel like they can open up if anything is bothering them.
Change the Surroundings
Although many people believe that their jobs are stressful because of negative interactions with coworkers or clients, it’s often more of a problem with an employee’s environment. Your employees should have a relaxing surrounding when working; they need a calming place they can go when they want to get away from difficult coworkers and situations.
Consider adding plants, artwork, and comfortable furniture to your office space. Even a mini-break room with a TV can help keep employees relaxed when they need a break from their work desk. You can also hire landscapers to spruce up your company’s entrance area or even set up an indoor garden so that employees can enjoy some greenery without ever leaving the building.
Provide Professional Growth Opportunities for Employees
The first step in creating a less stressful workplace is an office with transparency and communication. No employer can truly understand what their employees are going through unless they take time to ask them. Offer your employees some professional development opportunities, like an employee seminar or on-site class. It will give them something fun and interesting to look forward to and help you have more meaningful conversations about where they’re at, both professionally and personally.
Hire a Consultant When Necessary
Let’s face it: some people are just born with natural leadership skills and a knack for motivating others. And some need help to get their management style in check. If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you may fall into that second category—and that’s okay. There are tons of great business consultants out there who can offer all sorts of advice about maximizing productivity and helping your employees feel more valued and engaged. Hiring a business consultant for your small business may be one of your smartest moves yet.
While there’s no single solution for reducing workplace stress, these seven ideas can help put your business on a more relaxed footing. People are inherently drawn to workplaces that are warm and inviting. Even if you can’t implement all of these suggestions, your efforts can go a long way.