Did you know that stress in the workplace is one of the biggest causes for reduced productivity? Not only can it impact their performance, but stress can also cause uncomfortable health issues for your employees. With that in mind, it becomes critical to understand how impactful stress is in the workplace. You’ll also need some solid strategies to help reduce workplace stress, which will drastically improve team morale. In turn, this results in improved productivity!
Impact of Stress At Work
Stress is actually quite a deadly disease. It won’t kill you right away, but it gradually drains the joy from your life and physically ages you. The funny thing about stress is how many different ways it can manifest. If you’re having stomach or head aches, that can certainly be a product of stress. Someone else under the same stress might lose their hair. Others will lose sleep.
The point is that stress has very negative consequences for your employees. Worst of all, you might not even know that your employees are being impacted by stress because of how differently it can show up. Physical symptoms are uncomfortable and can lead to difficulties concentrating because your attention is diverted to how you feel.
Not only does stress reduce productivity by causing distracting physical symptoms, but it can also directly impair mood. When your employees are in bad moods, they’ll have a harder time getting along and working together. Not only that, but when they’re in a bad mood, they’ll be much more likely to question what they’re doing rather than peacefully working.
Stress is the bane of workplace productivity, but fortunately there are some strategies you can implement to try and reduce the stress level in the office!
Especially with younger generations, genuine employee appreciation has become far more important to retaining employees. Workers ultimately want to feel valued, and often a paycheck is not enough. When all an employee receives is their bi-weekly paycheck, it is very easy for them to feel like another brick in the wall. If they feel that someone else could easily replace them tomorrow, they won’t feel important or motivated to do a great job.
This requires you to use a personal touch to make your employees feel that you care. There are several, quite simple ways that you can make your employees feel appreciated. You can offer (healthy) snacks and refreshments, give heartfelt compliments showing they matter, and empower them to feel like the capable employee they are by avoiding any micro-management.
In addition to wanting to feel valued, many employees also appreciate having a clearly defined role within the company. What does their position actually mean and entail? More importantly, why are they performing these daily functions, and how does that contribute to the overall purpose of the business?
When an employee understand why their role is important, it gives them extra incentive to perform it well. When they don’t know why they’re doing something, it may be more difficult to understand the importance of the task, making it easier to ignore or do poorly. Letting your employees clearly know what is expected of them and why it matters is an excellent way of allowing your team to feel relevant and important.
While the goal of reducing stress is to improve productivity, you’ll also want to implement some things that will directly take away from that in the interest of better productivity later on. What this means is that you’ll want to give your employees a lunch break, and opportunities to leave the office and get some fresh air.
The reason why this is important is because it allows your employees to reset and refresh themselves. When employees are cooped up in the office focusing all day, they will become mentally exhausted. Focusing on one thing for a prolonged period of time is quite draining, but getting up for some fresh air and some decompression is a perfect way to get your employees back into a working state of mind.
The nature of the language your employees use is very important. Whether it is intended or not, when employees are consistently negative, it directly impacts the morale and performance of the team. Part of the problem with this is how easy it is for employees to be negative without even realizing it. Voicing their displeasure or frustration might make them feel better about a situation, but it can make other team members uncomfortable about the situation.
What is being said in the workplace matters. Because of this, you want to help foster a positive culture. Instead of focusing on things that are negative, be quick to point out the positive side of things. Compliments and words of encouragement are great for helping remind employees that they matter and are important. Having a positive culture makes it easier for team members to pick each other up, whereas a negative culture encourages putting each other down.
The final way you can help reduce workplace stress is by allowing some flexibility in the schedules your employees work. This doesn’t have to be anything drastic, but if they have obligations close to the time they come into work, it might cause them to arrive to work stressed and/or late everyday.
If this is plausible for your business, ask your employee what work schedule works best for them. Perhaps it might work better for them to come in and leave an hour later. If there is stress that can easily be eliminated by working slightly different hours, if deadlines are met and the work is done, there is no real harm in mixing up a schedule.
Expert Accounting Advice!
Stress is always a difficult thing to deal with in the workplace, especially because the people with the tools to help reduce workplace stress are often too-stressed themselves to take action. As a leader though, it is your job to set the best course for your employees.
You certainly have many strategies available to you to help reduce workplace stress. Simple, yet meaningful gestures like showing genuine appreciation, clearly defining roles, allowing breaks for decompression and fresh air, fostering a positive culture, and allowing some flexibility in scheduling can all go a long way in helping reduce stress in the workplace. Reducing stress in the workplace is one of the best ways to boost productivity.
One thing that should never be stressful is the management of your financials. At Evergreen CPAs, we have the expertise and compassion required to help you understand your business better! We can analyze any business situation you may have to give you expert advice on how to proceed and grow. Check out the selection of accounting services Evergreen CPAs offers here to take your business to the next level!