Stress massively takes its toll in a multitude of areas in our lives. In the UK alone, 70% of visits to GP’s is for stress related illness.
Work related stress is a huge contributory factor and many workers feel so overwhelmed or stressed out in their work, it negatively impacts on poor sleep, ill health, relationships, productivity and over all well-being.
Additionally, the stress of Covid has not only caused many uncertainties, mixing home and work life, job losses, economy worries, juggling home schooling children and feeling isolated while working remotely.
A Work and Well-being Survey conducted in 2016 by the American Psychological Association found 1 in 3 people are chronically stressed within their job.
Of those employees surveyed, 33% said they typically feel tense or stressed out during the work day. Only 41% said their employer helped to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Only 4 in 10 said their senior managers are involved in and committed to well-being initiatives and only around half felt valued by their employer.
Stress has huge negative implications within business.
It has a direct impact on reduced productivity, poor staff morale, absenteeism sky rockets, as does increased staff turnover. The bottom line is this not only has negative implications for teams, it costs money, revenue is affected.
It really isn’t difficult to understand your biggest asset, your workforce need to be looked after as a priority. Yet many fail to take this into consideration, to the detriment of companies and their staff.
What can managers do differently?
There are a number of things that managers can do. It is all about implementing the correct strategies from the top, and to help enforce cultural change within your teams. It’s not about ticking a box, or adding something seen as ‘fluffy’ as this will be a drop in the ocean. Additionally, it’s no coincidence that those organisations that are looking after their staff are the ones that are thriving. Check out what multi award winning CEO of YuLife, Sammy Rubin is doing in this article
It is super impressive and should set precedent!
Sure fire strategies to support your teams
Encourage your organisation to work with experts who specialise in handling stress for your teams
Inspire and incentivise your team to access to and take advantage of professional stress management training and webinars.
Support your team in taking time out when they need it
The days and times of ‘hustle’ culture is long behind us. Too many hours and not enough breaks is just going to lead to burnout, staff absence, pressure on other staff members and teams and for staff not feeling valued, which all leads to reduced productivity, less focus and ultimately reduce work output.
Have space for employees and teams to practice self care
Openly encourage this within your organisations. Access to regular yoga and mediation classes, which are interwoven into your day.
ALWAYS lead by example
You all these resources yourself and encourage your team members to utilise these, which will support you all as a team.
Make sure workers are taking regular breaks
Moving away from desks most definitely at lunch time is actively encouraged. More time away and break time will lead to improved productivity. No one likes a poor afternoon slump! Implement walking meetings and natures breaks.
Ensure your workforce is taking enough time out
Actively encourage time away, and complete cut off at weekend, no email activity on Saturday nights please!
Ensure the working environment is a positive space! If not, there are several ways you can make immediate improvements.
Be an active listener and commutator
The more you can take time out to listen to how your staff are feeling and how their work is going, the more you will be able to gauge how they are managing with the day to day challenges of the job. Be approachable! You will get much more out of your workforce this way. Senior leadership support is key.
Improve team relationships
This is critical to the running of a successful organisation. Either ensure you enlist outsources specialist support or arrange regular team building events which can either be office based incorporating team competitions, or organised away days. Team lunches should be a regular activity, or have a post work get together once a month. Teams will feel values and included.
Encourage workplace recognition
Employees who feel they have a positive personal rapport with their management are more likely to be engaged. They most definitely feel appreciated if their work gets recognised and noticed.
Great companies should know that their employees are at the heart of their business.
Remember, too much stress leads to the following:
Reduced productivity, low morale, increased staff turnover. All this leads to increased eye watering spending and teams that are not happy in their work. Bottom line. And guess what that leads to? This will overflow into customer relationships, customer will pick up on this in no time. Why not look after your staff like you look after your customers?
I’d love to hear how you are doing in your organisations, get in touch to let us know what is working and what isn’t for you and your teams!
Janine is the founder of Change for Success.
She is a published researcher and is a renowned leading authority in this field.
She specialises in transforming mental health and mindset working with individuals and companies and organisations by helping them improve their performance and productivity by reducing stress in the workplace.
She has a Masters’ degrees in Psychology, is a hypnotherapist, NLP and EFT practitioner.