According to research, 11.7 million working days* are lost a year due to stress, anxiety and depression at work.
Whatever industry you’re in, hours you work or position you fill, from time to time, stress is an unavoidable part of working life. But how do you stop is commandeering your culture?
1. Type and volume of work
Remember that everyone’s different – what’s fine for one person might be stressful for another. With this in mind, think about:
2. Provide a quiet place
Sometimes, you just need a bit of peace and quiet. Admittedly this one is more apt for some industries than others, but if relevant and suitable, consider setting up a bit of a break out area for employees to take a bit of tranquil time every now and then.
3. Pull together
When times get tough at work, it’s important that you have a business-wide mentality of chipping in and supporting one another when needed. Remember, it doesn’t always have to be in an employee’s job description for them to step up and help.
For this one to work, it’s really important that you recruit people with the right values and traits from the off.
4. Communication is key
Often, clear communication can help to nip stress in the bud. Why? Because employees will understand what you expect from them, they’ll feel comfortable coming forward with concerns and they’ll have a good idea of the bigger picture.
Scheduling weekly or monthly one-to-ones is a good way to instigate this, as well as setting clear objectives and ensuring stress isn’t a taboo topic – acknowledge it and talk about it!
Exercise is known for its stress-busting benefits (among others), so encourage employees to take it up! You could put on short sessions before or after work, or during lunch breaks, to give employees a convenient platform to raise their heart rate.
For those of you thinking you need a gym – you’re wrong. Exercise classes needn’t cost a penny. You could go for a run around the local area, meet at a local park for a boot camp session or block out part of your premises (if it’s safe to do so) for a quick HIIT workout. In fact, it could even be as simple as a lunchtime stroll.
6. Anonymous feedback forum
It’s difficult to eradicate stress if you don’t know what’s causing it. For whatever reason, sometimes employees just don’t feel comfortable coming forward, to stop this becoming a barrier, consider setting up an anonymous feedback forum – like a survey or comment box, for example.
This’ll help you to identify triggers and patterns, and form the basis of what changes you make.
7. Sensible hours
Having a work life balance is key when it comes to reducing stress. Encourage your employees to take their breaks and leave on time – without feeling guilty.
8. Flexible working
If the school run, fitting in routine appointments or mad traffic is the root of stress, consider letting employees work from home from time to time or alter their hours, for example.
This’ll not only help to reduce their stress, but it’ll show you’re fair and that you care – which they’ll no doubt appreciate.
9. Balance and positivity
Negative vibes are never good for anyone’s stress levels. Make sure your managers distil a strong sense of camaraderie into their teams, and that you have a well-balanced ‘work hard, play hard’ motto throughout your business.
Need a hand de-stressing?
Is just the thought of managing stress making you stressed? If the answer’s yes, then stop, take a breather and give us a call.
Here at Citation, our HR & Employment Law experts are here to take the load off you, so that you can get on with what you do best – running and growing your business.
Just give us a call on 0345 844 1111 or drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Estimate based on self-reports from the Labour Force Survey 2015/16.
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