How to help stressed employees

19 May 2017

Recently, we took a look at 10 signs your employees might be suffering from stress. Now you know the tell-tale signs, we’re here to give you a hand when it comes to helping stressed staff.

‘Open door’ policy

If an employee is suffering from stress, they might not feel they can talk about it – even if they want to. To help employees feel comfortable in coming forward, it’s important to send out a clear message that your door is always open. This will help to break down an all-important barrier and encourage employees to come to you for help.

Train your managers

Make sure all individuals in management positions are aware of how they should handle employees who come to them with stress-related problems. Failure to handle the situation properly could put the individual and wider team at risk of feeling too scared to come forward in the future.

Be approachable

If you’re shouting one minute, nice the other and then grumpy the next, your employees will be treading on egg shells around you. This will make it increasingly difficult to come to you, because they’ll be worrying about what kind of mood they’ll catch you in. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to lead by example and give off a well-maintained, welcoming presence.

Take an interest

Make a point of asking your employees how they are when you’re passing by. This isn’t to say you need to grill them on their wellbeing, but simply asking “how are you today?” will show you have a genuine interest and open the door to them confiding in you.

Confidential policy

Clearly communicate that any stressed employees who come forward, can do so confidentially. This could be done in many ways – email, posters, team meetings, etc.

Be flexible

If an employee comes to you with stress-related problems, try to make some allowances if you think they’ll benefit the individual. For example, this might be extra time off for appointments, delegating some of their workload or paid leave while they de-stress.

At the end of the day…

It’s all about handling sensitive employee situations with care. As an employer, it’s your job to make employees feel comfortable, reassured and relaxed, and your people skills will play a large part in this.

If you’re lacking in confidence when it comes to handling such situations or just feel in need of a refresher, it might be worth booking yourself on to a relevant training course.

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