The clock is ticking down on a big deadline. There’s a meeting next week with a big potential customer. The finish line on a major project is approaching. Work-life balance is out of sync. There’s no shortage of stressors on today’s employees. Sound familiar?
Not all stress is bad. Stress can motivate us to work quickly and efficiently. It can help us dig a little deeper and stretch a little more than we thought we could. On the other hand, an inability to manage the things that stress us, or prolonged high-pressure situations, can negatively impact your team. In fact, a lack of stress management can lead to a marked decrease in productivity and an increase in absenteeism and employee turnover. As a corporate leader, you can reduce the negative impact by helping your team find ways to reduce stress in the workplace.
Set Clear Goals and Priorities: Identifying priorities and setting clear benchmarks can go a long way. Employees with full schedules can better manage their time and attention when they understand what is most important at that moment.
Offer Flexibility: Not all your employees’ stress is work-related, but it can all have a negative impact on your organization. Be open to flexible working hours, telecommuting, and other arrangements that give your staff more control over their work-life balance.
Show Gratitude: It’s amazing what a “thank you” can do! Numerous studies have measured the impact of gratitude on our attitudes. The results are always the same: Gratitude can boost employees’ self-esteem, optimism, work satisfaction, and decision-making skills. As an added bonus, data from Work.com indicates nearly 70% of employees say they’d work harder if they were better recognized for their efforts. On the flip side of the coin, about half would leave their current positions for a company where they feel more appreciated.
Encourage Downtime: Overwhelmed employees can be reluctant to leave the office on time, disconnect on the weekend, and take their allocated vacation time. But this approach, however, is taking its toll. Employees who embrace downtime are healthier, more focused, more creative, and more productive. That’s where you come in. According to a Project: Time Off survey, 80% of employees said they’d take their allocated vacation time if they felt their boss supported it.
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