Help Combat Workplace Stress

by Bethany Wright on February 11, 2019

in Employee Engagement

Frustrated Woman

An American Psychiatric Association survey said 58% of Americans claim that work was a significant stressor in their life. A ComPsych study said employees listed “workload” as the number one reason for stress in the workplace. Some additional reasons were “people issues,” “work-life balance” and “personal issues” that find their way into the workplace.

What can employers do to help ease the stress in their employees’ lives? And more than that, why should they care? As long as the work is getting done, does employee stress affect the workplace?

The answer is yes! Yes, of course, stress can affect the workplace in a negative way. And yes, YES, employers should care. A high stress workplace can lead to issues between employees, poor morale, poor performance, and overall unhappy employees. None of those things are good for your business.

So, what can you do to help ease the stress? Here are a few ways to help:

  • Show employees you appreciate them. Tell them when they do something good, and make them feel like their contribution counts in the larger scheme of things. But be mindful of those employees who may not prefer a public appreciation. Ask employees how they prefer to be recognized, this will do even more to show you appreciate them and care about them.
  • Allow employees flexibility if and when you can. The less they have to worry about who is going to pick up Little Timmy from daycare, the more they can focus on the job in front of them. If a job can be done remotely, allow employees to do that once in a while to avoid a frustrating commute, or just to not have to get ready in the morning; less rush, less stress.
  • Listen. When employees have a problem, or even just a question, pay attention to what they are saying and show them that they are important.
  • Provide an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Access to services like an EAP can have a huge impact on an employee’s stress level, and it shows you care about the wellbeing of your employees.
  • Encourage wellness beyond health insurance. Offer employee’s healthy snacks in the office, encourage employees to take active breaks like short walks, or offer to partially reimburse gym memberships. All of these things can help to reduce stress and put employees in a better mood.

Employers may not be able to remove workplace stress from their employees’ lives, but there are certainly ways to make work less stressful. By making the workplace more engaging for the employee and offering options to help reduce stress, you can have a positive impact on your employees’ lives.

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