Did you know? Stress costs American businesses an estimated $300 billion yearly in lost productivity, absenteeism, and medical expenses. According to The American Institute of Stress, the stress level of Americans is at an all-time high in 2022 and is rising rapidly. So, how can employers reduce stress in the workplace? Remember, Stress is a major concern at the workplace not only for the employees but the employers are stressed as well.
Steps to reduce stress in the workplace as an employer
Fortunately, employers can take steps to reduce stress in the workplace. And if implemented properly, these strategies can help lower stress levels for the employees while also improving employee engagement and productivity.
Here are eight tips to reduce workplace stress:
Create a supportive work environment:
Set expectations that workplace conflicts should be resolved peacefully and with respect and strive to create an atmosphere of trust and collaboration. For example, provide professional development opportunities, create a forum for open communication between employees and managers, and reward success.
In addition, provide regular feedback for employees to help ensure that goals are being met. According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, employees who receive feedback are more likely to be less stressed. It means they understand their roles, responsibilities, and how they are performing.
Encourage Work/Life Balance:
It’s important that employees feel like their job isn’t taking over their life. Create a culture of flexibility by allowing employees to manage their own schedules, take vacation days when needed, and provide resources that help them achieve a healthy work/life balance.
Moreover, recognize that everyone has different needs and be willing to accommodate those needs. A flexible work environment can reduce stress, improve employee engagement and morale, and increase productivity. According to a study by McKinsey, companies that offer flexible work schedules have seen a 22% improvement in productivity.
Provide Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs):
These programs provide confidential counseling services for employees experiencing stress or other life issues. Having access to a trained professional can help employees find the balance between work and life responsibilities and make healthier decisions.
An EAP also allows employers to show that they care about their employees’ well-being. According to WHO, employees who have access to EAPs report lower levels of stress, improved job satisfaction, and better overall well-being.
Offer Stress Management Training:
Provide employees with stress management training to learn techniques to help them deal with their stress. This could include teaching them mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation techniques or providing them with stress management resources.
Additionally, employers should provide access to mental health professionals who can help employees healthily manage their stress. A recent study found that providing stress management training can help reduce physical and psychological stress symptoms.
Encourage Physical Activity:
Encourage employees to take regular breaks throughout the day, including going for a walk or doing some physical activity. Exercise is beneficial for both physical and mental health as it can serve as an outlet to blow off steam.
Also, employers should consider providing on-site activities such as yoga or meditation classes that employees can participate in during the workday. Many studies have found that physical activity can reduce stress levels, improve focus and concentration, and boost energy levels.
Promote Healthy Eating Habits:
Provide healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables to employees regularly. Encourage staff members to eat a balanced, nutritious diet and to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Eating healthy can help reduce stress levels, improve focus and concentration, and increase energy levels.
Additionally, employers should ensure that employees have access to nutritious meals and snacks during the workday if needed. According to a study by the American Journal of Public Health, employees who eat healthier meals tend to be more productive and have higher levels of job satisfaction.
Encourage Team Bonding:
Organize team-building activities and encourage employees to socialize with each other. This can help build relationships, reduce stress in the workplace, improve morale, and increase productivity. Team bonding can also help employees feel like they’re part of a larger team and be more motivated to work together.
Additionally, employers should recognize individual and team accomplishments to create a sense of camaraderie. Studies have shown that bonded teams are more productive, work better together, and are less likely to experience burnout.
Promote Open Communication:
Last but not least, promote an open and honest dialogue with employees. Encourage them to speak up if they feel overwhelmed or stressed out and provide them with resources to help them manage their stress levels. Employers should also encourage employees to give feedback and provide suggestions on improving the work environment.
Open communication between employers and employees can help reduce stress levels, increase job satisfaction, and improve overall productivity.
By implementing these tips, employers can provide employees with a healthy work environment that supports them on their journey to better mental health and optimal productivity. With the right resources, employers and employees can benefit from an improved work environment and stress-free workplace culture. Ultimately, it’s about creating a healthy, safe, and supportive environment that employees can enjoy.
Take the time to implement these tips in your workplace, and you will see improved employee engagement, lower stress, and better overall job satisfaction. Your employees will thank you for it!