How to manage stress in the workplace

stress workplace

Stress is commonly known in the workplace, and anyone with a job can attest to this. At work, pressure is generated from expectations that require more results compared to the capability of the employee.

When the organization needs an employee to deliver more than their ability, without discussing how it can be accomplished, stress starts to check in. Unclear objectives, unreachable goals, harassment, and bullying at work primarily contribute to stress.

When an employee experiences stress in the workplace, they should realize that they are not the only one feeling this way. Lack of stress management in the workplace can contribute to employee turnover, illnesses, and absenteeism. Here are some ways you can understand your stress and manage it successfully:

Where Does Stress Come From?

There are several ways an employee can feel stress in the workplace. Here are some leading causes:

  • Demands placed by the employer – Employees who feel like they have a lot of needs weighing heavily on their shoulders, are likely to feel stressed out.
  • More extended hours of work – Employees who put in long hours of work suffer various health problems based on work they do. They have a higher susceptibility to heart disease, weight gain, migraines, and more. These unhealthy workers will not combat stress well–instead it will cause more health issues.
  • Level of control from the management on how employees execute their duties – When employees are not allowed to think for themselves due to a high level of control that the administration gives, the employees end up stressed and unable to work to their full ability.
  • Increased workload – When the workload is a lot, and the employees are expected to pick up extra, it becomes both physically and mentally exhausting for them. Most salaried workers find themselves pushing in more extended hours to get work done without the advantage of overtime. While hourly employees are pushed to work harder to get the job done in the same amount of time. For both situations, it becomes hard to handle.
  • Downsizing employees – Bad economic times in the company that send the organization to downsize their employees is reason enough for every employee to become stressed. Fear of losing a job is inevitable in every worker whether hourly or salaried.
  • Pressure to perform – When the management fixates heavily on the employee’s’ performance and productivity, they might not realize it, but they are causing stress in their workers that may lead to worse health conditions. An employer can seek other ways to motivate productivity besides pressure and threats.

stressed people

What Does Job-Related Stress Lead to?

When job-related stress accumulates, its impact on workers is inevitable. It can quickly lead to:

  • Depression – Most employees end up fighting depression especially if there are no tremendous coping strategies set up by the company.
  • Sickness – Stress makes one unhealthy in more ways than one. It has physical repercussions that lead to different types of diseases. This translates into absenteeism and higher health insurance costs–which can lead to medical debt and filing for bankruptcy.
  • Reduced productivity – Stressed employees translates into low productivity because they do not operate as effectively as they once did.
  • Violence – Stress will make co-workers fight with each other over petty issues. It puts the employees on edge with each other in a dangerous way that can cause more harm than good.
  • Retention problems – When stressed, most employees quit work because they feel not needed. Ironically, your best employees might be the one to leave when you need them the most. They may be getting the work done, but the stress is burning them out.
  • Fear – Employees may be scared to talk to their boss about their mental health issues because they think they will lose their job, or be looked at differently. Employees must know they have options, such as applying for social security disability – getting time they need off from work to relax.

How Can Employers Reduce Stress at the Workplace?

Though denied most times, employers have an active role to play in creating stress at work. It is therefore sensible to use their position in reducing it. This is how it can be done:

  • By addressing conflict without playing favorites or adding to it – Conflicts are widespread in the workplace and should be treated without favor. Using conflict management solutions that are outlined in the employee handbook makes it easier to address the cause. Handle both the employees who conflict in a fitting way that helps them handle the situation.
  • Avoid giving irregular work schedules – Varying work schedules are a considerable stressor especially for hourly employees. Erratic work schedules have been reported as causing stress-related issues. They do not know when they will be needed to work more and it’s difficult for them to make personal plans or balance between work and life. Try to create schedules that your employees can bank on. This way, they won’t have to make a lot of changes in their personal lives.
  • Create a sense of commitment to your workers – Employees need to feel secure in their work environment. By showing that you trust and value your workers, you generate a sense of loyalty that reduces stress.
  • Invest in a wellness program as part of the workplace policies – Stress creates a physical illness that can keep your employees away from work bringing productivity down. Doing what you can to keep a wellness program working in your workplace can combat both stress and physical ailments.

As an employer, the atmosphere you create in the workplace determines the results you get back. Strive to create a happy workplace, a content workforce which directly translates to higher productivity.

Having a Successful Business

At the end of the day, you want your business to run the best way it can. This isn’t always as easy as it may seem–and requires a lot of additional work.

As as a business owner, you want your employees to be happy, and most importantly healthy. By striving for this, the company, and everyone who works for it will move forward in a positive way.

Stress is something we can control to a certain degree. If you notice your employers are struggling, maybe you need to lessen their workload, or consider using a project managing software to organize tasks and have all work in one place.

All companies and people are different, so find the best way that works in your case and stick with it.

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