If a business achieves new heights because of unique strategies implemented by its managers, it still runs on the shoulders of its capable employees. But what happens when the same employees are subjected under tremendous stress? It doesn’t augur well either for employees or businesses.
Stress is one of the biggest productivity killers in any organization and, by the way, it is increasingly becoming commonplace mostly in the working class. Though it differs from one workplace to another depending on the nature of work, but poor job design, unsatisfactory management and lack of support are the most common causes of stress.
Many studies converge on the fact that the past one-and-half decade saw businesses undergoing rapid changes, which has competition, pressure, needs, quick and appropriate innovations etc. As a result, businesses suffer with increased work stress, dismal performance, and low productivity. In addition to being a hurdle for organizational success, stress has hazardous physical and mental effects on the employees themselves. As suggested by Healthline.com, stress can result in irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, and insomnia.
If your employees are feeling continuous stress at the workplace, it is high time you have swung into action and take appropriate action to curb this menace of occupational stress.
Here are some effective ways to keep your employees stress-free and motivated:
Set clear and achievable goals for your staff
You need to be extremely transparent to your employees as far as their goals are concerned. This paves the way for how well their job roles will be going to support these goals. In many companies due to poor designing of jobs and work systems, employees don’t quite know what roles they need to play and when, leading to increased state of frustration and stress. Clear and achievable goals, on the other hand, give employees peace of mind because they know what they need to focus on and why. It would be better if you involve your employees in crafting these goals and have them their say. It will make them clearer about their goals, while allowing them to feel part of the process. You can also ask them how to make the overall company goals measurable so that they can align their own objectives to the company’s objectives.
Show your appreciation
A gesture of appreciation always goes a long way in making your staff motivated and happy. Since you haven’t gathered a fleet of robots to work tirelessly for you, rather your employees are working as a one big unit having individual aspirations. A genuine word of appreciation, therefore, can uplift their enthusiasm and comfort level.
As a matter of fact, showing appreciation and recognition to employees who usually face a hard time to perform well, can motivate them effectively and bring them out of stress. A simple ‘Thank You’ or ‘well done’ can uplift the morale of your team members. You can also throw office parties for completing their projects or achieving stated targets. On such occasions, having a toast with custom wine labels would be an amazing way of appreciating their performance. This way of recognizing the efforts of your employees will shoot up their motivation levels for sure.
Offer a fair and flexible work environment
Work environments that are unfair, unpredictable and inflexible are no less than ‘toxic workplaces’. Stress is bound to creep in when a company doesn’t value its employees and treat them unfairly. That is why organizations that value their employees and provide fair work environments are more profitable than those who don’t. Growing bodies of research show that working in an environment that is seen as fair helps offset the effects of stress. This is because employees tend to feel a greater sense of status and self-esteem due to greater sense of trust within the organization. Sometimes flexible work environment is needed because it reduces some unnecessary pressures in the lives of employees. It is clear that companies having environments characterized by fairness and flexibility successfully reduce stress levels of their employees and improve profitability.
Show that you care for them
As a concerned business owner or manager, you should be mindful of how various situations could arise in the lives of your employees, which render them highly stressed. For example, serious illness, financial problems, depression or demise of a loved one could be really heartbreaking for some of your employees. Keeping this in mind, you can initiate employee assistance programs (EAPs) in order to address their genuine problems. If you notice any of the above mentioned distressing symptoms in your employees, you can organize a trauma treatment session for them so that they can recover from them. When you show them you really care for their health and well-being, it leaves a positive impression on them and they remain motivated.
Discourage substance abuse
Substance abuse isn’t good either in personal life or at workplaces. It will have serious health issues for employees on one hand, while undesirable consequences for your business on the other. So educate them about the seriousness of such actions as a friend or mentor without being too intrusive. You can tell them how to take lessons from survivors of addiction so that they wouldn’t want to tread on that path. You can also tell them to control their diet, exercise and sleep routines.
Today, stress is widespread and has no boundaries. It not only affects personal and professional lives of people, but it negatively impacts their emotions and physical abilities. When it comes to business productivity and profitability, stress has devastating consequences. So it’s a pressing need on the part of organizations to make their employees stress-free and happy.