Did you know that workplace stress is on the rise?
Since the pandemic, stress levels felt by your employees has increased from years past. Understanding the significance of stress levels matters because they have a direct effect on the productivity, longevity, and health of a business.
Running a company that only values the bottom line is the perfect storm to burn your employees out and decrease positive outcomes. A lot of business models rely on the idea that the busier you are and the more stressed you are, the more valuable you are. This is a false notion. This isn’t to say, as a business owner or manager, that you shouldn’t push your employees to grow and succeed. What it means is to pivot the way you look at productivity and stress and how that affects your bottom line.
The top stressors for employees are:
Lack of growth opportunities/advancement
Assigned tasks that exceed their knowledge or experience
Too heavy of a workload
Unreasonable job expectations
If you are unsure if your employee is stressed, there are many signs that can point you to their mental state. Traditionally these signs might be seen as a bad employee, but it's important to know your employee and recognize these changes as an opportunity to help further support them – they might feel overwhelmed, burnt out, or don’t have the skills needed to complete a project you’ve assigned.
Signs your employee is stressed:
Lower quality work
More mistakes in their work
Lack of enthusiasm
If you take a look at your employees, do any of these stand out to you as stressors for them? If so, there are a lot of things you can do to help alleviate the stress.
Ways to alleviate stress for your employees:
Provide more in-depth training to help bridge the gap in skill set to the task that has been assigned. Have you given them a project that is beyond their experience or skill set?
Assess workload and communicate with your employee about how they feel about taking on new tasks. Do you have realistic expectations of what an employee is able to do in a work week, and are you basing this on your own ability, not theirs?
Check-in with your employee as deadlines are approaching and ask if they need any support or resources to make that happen. Deadlines are necessary, but are there ways to alleviate the stress for your employee?
Encourage self-care through sharing mental health webinars and training – create a culture of balance and self-care. Are there other things that you could incorporate or purchase for your employees to ensure they are taking the time for themselves during the work week?
Understanding how stress affects your employees is an amazing opportunity to tap into the heart of your employees and build a more meaningful work environment that centers on balance and productivity. Take the time to get to know your employees and learn what their stressors are so you can make sure they feel supported when they aren’t at their best. As a business owner or manager, you have the ability to really transform their lives and well-being. They will thank you for it!