The lead up to the end of the year can be a stressful time in many workplaces. Extreme stress in the workplace can lead to so many issues including:
Decreased employee engagement
The breakdown of teams
There are ways you can manage workplace stress and achieve a more successful and cohesive team, and a positive workplace culture.
Manage your own stress first
As a leader, the first step in creating a calm environment for your team is to know how to manage your own stress.
Remember, lower stress leads to higher quality work.
Managing your stress will make you a more effective leader in your efforts to manage your team’s stress.
It’s important to know the value of enjoying time off with family and friends, physical activity, and decompressing.
Of course, some stress at work is inevitable, especially towards the end of the year. In addition, it’s common for people to bring personal stresses to work with them. However, an extended level of work-induced stress is a problem that leaders need to tackle.
Prolonged stress is detrimental to the health and well-being of staff and to their overall performance. A great leader will guide their teams through learning how to manage stress. Here are 10 effective workplace stress management techniques in which leaders can use to help their teams.
1. Educate Employees on how they can manage their Stress at Work
The human body sees stress as a threat to wellbeing. People feel less stressed when they feel in control. You can support your team by providing them with stress management aids, for example:
- Breathing exercises
- Encouraging physical activity
- Allowing employees to engage with each other
2. Train your team
It’s important to train your team in stress-management methods. They can learn how to frequently address their personal stress levels. Provide them with resources for managing stress and side effects.
3. Model the behaviour you want to see from your team
A common issue among employees is that their managers ignore them.
Having a sense of being ignored or mistreated in the workplace, where employees spend most of their time is a major stressor that can have devastating effects.
A good business leader will respect and value others. They’re fair to everyone, and believe that employees need to be appreciated in the workplace, and to feel:
4. Realistic Expectations
Having unrealistic expectations or demands will undoubtably add unnecessary stress for employees.
These types of demands and expectations are likely to have a negative impact including:
- Team disengagement
- Low morale
- Staff turnover
- Increased costs to the business
An important trait of a great leader is having the determination to reach your goals. The key is to lead in a way that allows your team to support your vision. Your team needs to believe they can succeed. If the goals and expectations you set for your team are unrealistic, they won’t have the determination it takes to achieve them.
5. Effective Communication
Encourage and model open communication with your team. Ask them if they have the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.
Let them know you are interested in their thoughts and ideas and be available to hear their insights on how operations can be improved.
Did you know that 86% of employees believe that lack of effective communication is the main cause for workplace failures.
Effective communication can improve productivity by up to 25%.
6. Encourage Failure rather than Punishing it
Everybody makes mistakes. A great leader will look at a mistake as a learning curve and an opportunity for improvement rather than looking to pass blame.
Disciplining employees for making a genuine mistake will inevitably increase stress levels and discourage team members from expressing creativity and innovation.
Of course there should be common guidelines to follow, but it’s counter-productive to have a team that is in fear of making a mistake while they’re learning or trying something new.
7. Encourage Staff to Take Time off if Needed
Ensure employees know that you recognise the importance of staying home when they are sick so that they can recover.
People who come into work when they are sick are more likely to have accidents or suffer considerable injuries.
Management should not guilt employees into coming into the office when they are unwell, and should set an example by taking time off themselves when they are sick.
8. Allow Flexibility
Gone are the days of being bound to a 9-5pm workday.
Allowing people the freedom to choose their work hours is a great stress management strategy.
Studies have shown that some people’s efficiency peaks in the early morning, where other people prefer to work in the quiet of the evening, after normal business hours.
It’s important in this day and age to allow people to maintain flexible work schedules where possible in your business.
As long as work is being completed consistently and to a good standard, it’s more beneficial to your business for the team to be happy and have flexible schedules, than to be bound to a desk between certain hours.
9. Gather Confidential Employee Feedback
When an employee feels that they do not have an opportunity to voice their feelings or feedback, it can leave them feeling stressed.
On the other hand, when they feel heard and understood, it can improve morale and increase productivity.
You should create a safe environment for your team to voice any criticisms or feedback they may want to offer, but may otherwise be too uncomfortable to say directly.
For example, you could implement:
- Periodic anonymous surveys
- Confidential interviews
- Employee suggestions box
10. Encourage Business-Social Activities
Social activities are great stress-reducers. For example:
- Team relaxation or de-stressing activities
- Regular team social events
- Team lunches when targets are met
The list of simple team social activities really is endless. Choose one that best fits in with your business.
Above all else, business leaders need to keep their emotions at bay by managing their own stress before they can create a less stressful environment for their teams.
Attitudes and behaviours are contagious in workplaces, particularly those of leaders. Keep this in mind when leading your team and creating a workplace free of unnecessary stress as we move towards the end of 2023.
Contact the HBB GROUP today to discuss tailored Training for your Business Leaders.
Call 133 833 574 or Email email@example.com