Managing your own stress can be tough enough, but reducing work related stress within your team, is another thing.
From 2019 to 2020 it is estimated there were 828,000 employees affected by work related stress. This accounted for 17.9 million working days lost.
Work related stress is normal, but too much can have lasting effects on the employee and team as a whole. When one of your employees’ experiences stress, the effects usually spread within your team.
So, as a manager, how can you relieve stress within your team? Well, we have a few suggestions.
In this article, we will not only consider the different causes of employee stress, but we’ll help you as the employer, deal with and manage it, to support your team.
What Are The Symptoms Of Work Related Stress?
As a great manager, understanding your employees individually is essential to getting the best out of the team. First of all, you have to be able to spot the warnings signs of stress. Symptoms of stress can be physical and mental.
Physical symptoms include:
- Feeling tired or dizzy
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains or increased heart rate
- Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw
Mental symptoms include:
- Being more emotional than usual
- A feeling of on edge or overwhelm
- Struggling to keep track of workload
- Struggling to make decisions, solving problems or completing workload
- Lack of concentration
As a business leader, if your team is continuously showing physical or mental signs of work related stress, then maybe it’s time to look at how you treat your employees, and what you expect of them, is It too much?
In no particular order, here are the Top 5 work related stress factors:
- Low salary
- Lack of opportunity for growth or development
- Too heavy workload
- Unrealistic job expectations
- Long hours
What Can Managers Do To Reduce Work-Related Stress?
A great leader can reduce stress within their team by creating an open, healthy and honest working environment. An open, healthy and honest working environment is perfect when gaining a positive outcome, in already stressful conditions.
We understand that in this current climate; work is very demanding, more complex, and it isn’t getting easier. Although it’s unlikely, as we continue the path to ‘normality’, the pace or intensity of the work you want your team to produce will not change anytime soon, meaning the approach has to be adapted.
So, What Can We, As The Employer Do To Reduce Stress Within Our Team?
Reducing work related stress within your team, we have a few ideas that help. We do advise you to tailor them to your workforce, as understanding them should be your first step.
Encouraging workplace wellbeing and support
First and foremost, employees feel valued when you look out for their overall physical and mental health. The idea of wellbeing training can actively help your employees cope with stress. It will not only improve their overall wellbeing, but it will show them you’re supportive of the situation.
Encouraging your employees to take time out of their day for exercise, will reduce stress and give their mind a greater sense of focus and clarity. Exercise naturally releases stress through the bodies release of endorphins. Try promoting team walks. Even if your company is mainly office-based, the outdoors can inspire fresh thinking and inspires new perspective.
Allow flexible hours and remote working
In today’s climate, employees are looking for flexibility at work. You’ve employed that individual because you’re confident they can fulfil the role, so let them prove it. Their work should be defined on quality and not when they clock in and out.
Allow your employees to work remotely, and give them freedom as to when they start and finish. Giving your team freedom to enjoy life outside of work will allow them to be more present while at work.
However, when an employee is remote working or working flexibly, it is important to ensure they are taking sufficient breaks and disconnecting from their work at the end of the day. Today’s workplace technology allows us to work from anywhere, which is an amazing benefit.
VoIP telephone systems, for example, have all the features an employee needs to communicate effectively from their home (or anywhere!). They enable your employees to make and receive business calls, join conference calls, transfer people to the right department and so much more. And this is a fantastic asset for your team and your business.
However, as an employer, you need to be making sure your employees are switching off when they need to. They shouldn’t be answering phone calls outside of business hours or working overtime simply because they have the tools to do so. If your employees aren’t “switching off” when working remotely, it could lead to further stress and even burnout.
Workplace recognition is arguably one of the most important factors. Employee’s love being praised, and recognition is a serious morale booster not just for the individual. Sharing an individual’s success makes them feel happy, comfortable, and in turn, reduces stress.
Encourage an open conversation/offer support
Many employees won’t have internal support to turn to if struggling with work related stress. As a manager, it doesn’t cost anything to be kind and you’ll reap the rewards from it. Offering support improves employee performance, engagement and profitability.
The key to success is to be one of them, understand, and most importantly lead by example. Over time these ideas will personally develop your employees and team as a whole.
How Can We Help?
A healthy, happy workforce is good for business. It reduces absences and increases productivity.
The Wellspace workplace wellbeing app is packed full of features to help you manage work related stress.
Our wellbeing app includes a sleep tracker, activity tracker, mood tracker and a leadership board, it rewards the employee for engagement and perseverance. Our training experts include medical doctors, lifestyle coaches and everything in between.