No matter the nature, work can cause stress. Being stressed can lead to having a drop in productivity and also impacts health. If not addressed, long-term stress can even cause severe health issues and even death.
Having work-related stress is a common theme in most people’s lives. In fact, according to The American Institute of Stress, 83% of employees in the United States suffer from work-related stress. Dealing with workplace stress is still a daunting challenge to a lot of people.
Workplace stress is a silent killer of health. But this is not because the symptoms of stress just shows on the physical level. In fact, it impacts all functions of the human body. Symptoms of stress can be categorized into four types:
- Physical Symptoms
- Cognitive Symptoms
- Emotional Symptoms
- Behavioral Symptoms
Moreover, it’s important to know how to deal with stress before it spirals out of control. Long-term effects of stress includes:
- Cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms
- Mental health problems such as depression
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Menstrual problems
- Skin and hair problems
- Apathy, lost of interest in work
- Social withdrawal
An overload of work-related stress can result in high absenteeism rates, productivity plummeting, low employee retention and poor employee engagement. If you believe your workforce is suffering from burnout or other types of work-related stress, it’s important that you implement strategies to help reduce the weight on their shoulders and also educate them on how to better deal with stress.
By doing so, you can reverse the negative effects of stress and achieve ideal business results. Here are the best strategies in dealing with workplace stress:
Educate the Workforce
While you could just remind and tell your workers to “deal with your work stress before it gets out of control”, they can appreciate the thought but might be ineffective with taking action because it tells no specific instruction.
It’s like telling a child, “don’t cross the road” but the child still does it anyway because the child doesn’t know what “road” is. By educating your employees about stress, they can know what the signs of stress are, different types of stress and effective ways on how to deal with them.
You can do this by holding a lecture or seminar about work stress. You can also educate them just by talking to your employees on how to manage stress. Through this, you also gain your employees’ trust and commitment by showing them that you value their well-being and respect them as people and not just as workers.
Offer a Flexible Work Environment
Having a flexible work environment helps improve the work-life balance of your employees. By promoting work-life balance, you help reduce stress as having a good-work life balance improves job satisfaction and employee happiness.
When your workforce is fulfilled both in their personal and professional life, they can also become more engaged at work. They have better resilience to stress and they have more time to cope and deal with what’s troubling them.
By having a flexible work schedule, employees can also have more time to care for themselves and their family. They can be healthier as they can have more time to rest, exercise and more other things besides working too much.
Here are the other benefits of having a flexible work environment:
- Increased productivity
- Increased creativity
- Improved well-being
- Improved employee retention
- Better work-life balance
- Competitive recruitment
- Reduced cost
In the U.S., it is harder to have work-life balance. In fact, out of the 38 countries part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United States comes in at number 30 for work-life balance.
By having a flexible work environment, you also lessen the chances of employees getting burnt out. According to Harvard Business Review, workplace burnout costs an estimated $125 to $190 billion each year in healthcare spending in the US.
Foster a Positive Company Culture
One of the main reasons why workers stay or leave their jobs is because of company culture. Company culture has a strong link to employee stress. If employees work in a toxic environment, chances are, they can be more stressed.
They can have conflicts with their co-workers, supervisors or it could be that they don’t have the proper tools and equipment to do their job well. Part of creating a positive company culture is providing proper tools and equipment to make it easier for the employees to do their work.
A good example of this are companies making use of automated payroll systems for the payroll to be done much easier. As doing the payroll can take a lot of time and is mentally demanding, making use of one of the 6 best payroll software solutions in 2020 doesn’t just help reduce work-related stress but also improves productivity and employee engagement.
If you believe that much of your workforce is suffering from workplace stress, implement these strategies to give them support. If you want your organization to succeed, you need to value your employees.
As what J. Willord Marriott said, “take good care of your employees, and they’ll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back”.