Everyone who has ever worked has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful components, even if it’s a job you love. However, it is important to note a very important distinction: pressure is not the same as stress. The truth is pressure only turns into stress when negative emotions are attached to those thoughts. But when work pressures begin to mount, it’s all too common to start associating negative emotions with these pressures until you are overwhelmed with stress. While unfortunately, this kind of stress is common in the workplace, it can be physically and emotionally harmful to employees. Therefore, it is crucial that managers provide sufficient resources for helping their employees manage stress. This will lead to a healthier and more productive work environment for all. Here are a few things managers can do to help reduce stress in the workplace.
Promote Open Communication
Employees who have open communication with their supervisor tend to be happier. By fostering this kind of communication, managers are creating a work environment that promotes healthy well-being. If an employee is beginning to feel stressed about something at work, it is vital that they be able to discuss it openly and honestly with their manager. This will prevent them from becoming overwhelmingly stressed about the pressures they are facing at work.
Track Their Stressors
It’s difficult to manage stress when you don’t know what’s causing it in the first place. Encourage your employees to keep track of which situations create the most stress for them. Have them write down their thoughts, feelings, and any information about the environment or people involved. As a manager, it is also important for YOU to take note of specific circumstances that cause a great deal of stress for employees. This allows you to offer support when such circumstances arise in the future.
Offer Support and Encouragement
Instead of attempting to fight stress with responses such as “that’s your job so you are just going to have to deal with it,” do your best to offer support to employees who are crumbling under the pressure. A few simple words of encouragement can go a long way in giving employees the confidence they need to turn those negative thoughts into positive ones. You should also offer additional support if the employee needs a little help or guidance.
Take Time to Recharge
To avoid the negative effects of chronic stress, it’s important to take time to replenish and return to our pre-stress level of functioning. Encourage employees who have been under immense pressure to take some time off to relax and unwind. This can be giving them an extra day off or just allowing them to leave a couple of hours early on a Friday. Either way, allowing them to take a little time off will help them to return to work feeling reinvigorated and ready to perform at their best.
Learn How to Relax
Managing stress is actually a skill that most people do not naturally possess. Therefore, it can be beneficial for managers to take time to teach these techniques to their employees. Encourage someone to come in and show employees how to meditate and practice deep breathing exercises. You can also encourage employees to take a brief walk throughout the day or take a few minutes to sit in a quiet space where they can gather their thoughts. When employees know how to utilize these techniques, they are less likely to crack under the pressure and let stress take over. You will find that your employees are able to regain focus and work productively.