How To Cut Employee Stress And Boost Productivity
In the present scenario, stress at a certain level is unavoidable at the workplace. And the inability to channelize that stress can lead to various psychological and physical problems, including depression and heart disease. Instead of being an asset to the company a stressed-out employee becomes more of a liability, resorts to frequent absenteeism as well as impacts the bottom line. Also, workplace stress results in various issues such as conflicts with coworkers, difficulty in concentrating, tardiness and poor work quality. Moreover, a lot of companies nowadays are even quantifying the loss in productivity due to higher stress at the workplace.
Now the question arises is, what can you do to fight stress at the workplace as well as avoid all the negative consequences? By addressing the problem head on!! The answer is, by introducing some healthy workplace wellness programs and anti-stress initiatives you can with time gradually lessen the impact of stress in the workplace.
Is Your Company’s Stress Management Program Stressful in Itself?
Stress is costing each industry big time. Billions of dollars are spent annually in illnesses, diminished productivity, absenteeism, burnout etc. There is no surprise to the fact that a lot of companies have been fighting the epidemic of stress aggressively with an armoury of anti-stress initiatives. However, the nagging question still remains unanswered. If all the stress management programs are so efficient, why a lot of workers are still stressed out?
The answer possibly lies in the fact that several organizations are simply trying too hard. In an attempt to reduce stress, they are in reality adding to it. Their success programs may be well-intended but they are quite complex and time-consuming, they’re heavy on theory and requires a lot of reading and recalling. As a result, these programs don’t connect with employees on their level.
Remember, what individuals who are stressed lack the most is patience and time. They do not have a single minute to be a part of the lengthy stress seminars. They hold very little patience to sift through wordy guides and procedures to uncover those rare nuggets of advice that is relevant to their situation. Some stress program merely addresses the symptoms of stress instead of eliminating the causes. They have a very little lasting effect. Workers soon become cynical and frustrated, believing that nothing will work out, and start over with their costly, stressful ways.
Human resources and management professionals can overcome these obstacles and effectively manage stress and “reach” their employees with certain solutions that not only connect with the employees but also stick with them. A nice way to began is to present employees with simple, candid and targeted strategies that they can quickly incorporate in their lives, specifically techniques that gather their attention and provide results. Make sure that these strategies are less intrusive, take little in their implementation, and get the user started on the correct track, with the right attitude.
Follow the below-mentioned strategies to significantly reduce workplace stress.
1. Execute one thing at a time.
Do it well. Do it mindfully. Enjoy the satisfaction. Then move to the next thing. Multitasking is great sometimes but not all the time. Make sure you’re focused on one task at a time.
Accomplishing several things at once consumes more time overall as compared to doing them sequentially. Also, it consumes an excessive amount of mental energy, so you fatigue more quickly. Lack of focus also results in unreliable performance, careless mistakes, and shoddy work. Worst of all, when you have to redo things. This is not the correct way to do things. Give undivided attention to whatever you’re doing. Take time to get it perfect. In this way, you’ll not only be more productive but less stressed, in the long run.
2. Be a team player.
It’s less stressful and more productive to work as a team. When you distribute the responsibility and work among your colleagues the pressure eases, and everyone becomes more cooperative with a sense of responsibility. By contributing work we can easily balance out our collective strengths and weaknesses. Let go the urge to put it all on yourself or take all the credit. Society is all about team effort and success most satisfying when everyone’s involved.
3. Forget about deadlines. How about startlines?
For everybody so obsessed with the completion of the project, we’re all too casual about the time to get it started. And this is the most critical aspect of all. It clearly explains why so many deadlines weren’t met. Rather than stressing over something which is due, focus towards getting it underway. Set a “start-time.” Start time can be described as a time before which it’s vital for you to get the project started so that it’s not performed in a slapdash and rushed manner. Stick to your start time, as it not only assures unhurried and efficient performance but eliminates workplace stress and anxiety that goes with it.
4. Stand up and stretch.
Especially when you have a sedentary lifestyle at work. Your day at work shouldn’t be like a nine-hour plane journey. From time to time get up from your chair, stand and stretch your legs and arms. Take a walk, climb stairs, roll your head, bend from side to side as it will enhance blood flow, loosen cramped joints and muscles, and relieve you from workplace stress. Give yourself a quick tune-up at least once in two to three hour.
5. Maintain your presence of mind.
It’s very easy to get flustered, panic and moreover, lose your tranquillity when you’re pressured and rushed. Your mistake level rises, carelessness abounds and civility usually goes out the window. This makes the things worst. Therefore, practice maintaining your presence of mind in pressure situations. Take deep breaths as well as approach the crisis with control and calmness. You’ll realize that you can actually handle things more efficiently and efficiently when you strive to keep yourself cool.
So what needs to be done?
Employee stress is a growing issue. For almost all employees. At nearly every company.
Stress occurs naturally in the workplace. And if left unchecked, it can wreak great havoc on employee productivity and health.
Also, stress has been associated with various physical problems such as high blood pressure, weakened immune system, hair loss, stomach aches and headaches. It causes some major problems with teamwork and concentration—and ultimately productivity.
What steps can you take to fight stress at work and avoid all the negative consequences? The answer is simple, address the issue head-on.
Lessen the impact of stress at the workplace by following any of these 7 workplace stress busters.
As we all know, exercise is an age-old stress buster and it really helps in fighting stress at workplace. Organize groups and take short walks all through the day at work. You might have one group that fights the afternoon slump with a walk around the block or a maybe group that heads out for a stroll over the lunch hour. Regardless of where, when, or how long, giving employees the option to take a short walk through the workday can be a wonderful break, as well as the exercise boost they require. You may be interested to know about the benefits of walking meetings and how to conduct walking meets in a correct manner at the workplace.
Caffeine can be a natural anxiety booster. It gets the emotions and energy flowing and can really grow stress. Generally, most of the people a little caffeine in the morning to get them going, but after lunch, it isn’t usually essential. Switching your break room coffee pot to decaffeinated coffee in the afternoon. Following this way, you aren’t adding any caffeine into your already potentially stressful situations—which is like summing gasoline to a fire.
Open Door Communication
You’d be surprised to know the amount of stress that arises from a lack of communication. A lot of people aren’t stressed by the work they’re accomplishing, but by the uncertainty concerning the project as a whole—or by the work of those they’re partnering with. Supporting employees to approach their leadership teams and supervisors with concerns and questions help to ease that uncertainty. Also, it provides an effective method for voicing frustrations as well as getting questions answered.
It might seem trivial, but the way you decorate the office can greatly impact employee stress. Brighten up the entire floor with natural colours and light provides a lot of positivity. You can also allow employees to set up, decorate, organize, and even paint their own workstations. The more they personalized their space, the more comfortable they’ll feel at work.
Two enormous sources of stress at workplace are the lack of control over daily tasks and work-life balance. Empowering employees to set their own schedules addressed both of those common stressors. When employees are given the opportunity to choose their schedules, they’ll set a schedule that balances with their personal lives. For example, dropping kids off at 8 a.m.? The workday starts at 8:15. No problem.
‘Hangry’ employees cause stress—to themselves as well as to their coworkers. On the same note, employees who snack on sugar-loaded or greasy foods are most likely to crash and burn in the energy department. A simple solution? Healthy snacking. By offering healthy snacks at the workplace—or by simply educating and encouraging employees about healthy snacking—can really help employees in getting a healthy energy boost. Healthy snacks fuel up the body without causing any harm down the road.
Up With Technology
It can be really expensive up front, but certain things like speedy internet connection, updated gadgets, and tools, as well as reliable software services, are very important. Technology is undoubtedly our greatest friend but if not dealt properly it can also turn into our greatest enemy—and an immense cause of stress at the workplace. It will be completely worth it to put the money and time to have technology that works for you and your employees, rather of the other way around.
Dealing with Stress to Improve Productivity
Stress isn’t always as bad as we think about it. A small amount of stress can assist in staying focused, energetic, moreover, prepare us for new challenges in the workplace. It’s what keeps us on our toes during a presentation or alert to prevent costly mistakes or accidents. But in today’s hectic environment, the workplace usually seems like an emotional roller coaster. Tight deadlines, long hours, and ever-increasing workplace demands leave you feeling drained, worried, overwhelmed. And in situations where stress surpasses your ability to cope, it stops being effective and starts provoking damage to your body and mind, and hamper your job satisfaction.
If stress at work is conflicting with your workplace performance, personal life, or health, it’s time to get into action. It doesn’t matter what you do for your living, or how stressful your job is, there are still a plethora of things you can do to decrease your stress levels and stay focused and happy at work.
How to Manage Performance Stress
We have all experienced the common ‘butterflies in the stomach’ feeling right before an important work presentation or conference; that elevated heart rate, mild thumping, sweaty palms, and anxious feeling.
Unfortunately, some of us may have also experienced the events that follow when we let these feelings take the better of us. What happens when things go wrong mid-way? Well, one can get over anything, as nothing and there is always a lot to do it. What’s even better is that such experiences can teach us to be careful in the future.
This article deals with the latter. Here’s what you can do to get hold of future mishaps:
Build A “Performance Plan”
For any upcoming large event, it is always better to chart out a Performance Plan. This foresees any problems likely to be encountered during the event, keep you well prepared to deal with them, with a positive mind frame. To do this, start by listing all the steps you need to do from start to end.
- Run a check on the equipment (projectors, speakers, microphones, and more) before the event begins, and repair or replace those that do not work.
- Sort out your travel arrangements and itinerary at least a few days prior to the event.
- Pack in advance, again at least a few days before flying. Make a list of all the items you packed and also jot down the ones that need to be thrown in before leaving.
- Always travel to the site of your performance a few days before your event. Familiarize yourself with the place, and possibly the acoustics.
- Get your equipment set up at least a few hours before your event.
- Know that it takes a lot of courage for one to be where you are right now. Mistakes are a part of life. So rather being upset, you may treat any mess-ups that you may have made as learning experiences.
Think & Work It Through
- Equipment and machines can always go wrong even after they are thoroughly checked. Learn to overcome these effects. Humour is an effective way to deal with such issues when you are on-stage.
- Just because you have listed all the possible scenarios, does not mean they will happen. In any case, be prepared and don’t let any temporary mishaps make you lose confidence.
Consider These As Well
- You can eliminate problems by preparing in advance and having backup arrangements at your disposal.
- If the event requires you to travel, leave early so that you don’t face any travel delay.
Plan ahead & reduce stress. All the best!