How to Reduce Workplace Stress For Employees

…Job stress costs U.S. industry more than $300 billion a year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, and medical, legal and insurance costs.

It’s no coincidence that employee stress is directly related to lower profit margins, poor team morale, and high turnover. According to the American Psychological Association, “With 65 percent of U.S. employees citing work as a significant source of stress and more than one-third reporting chronic work stress, workplace stress can affect both individual well-being and organizational performance. In addition to affecting employee health, chronic stress can have serious repercussions for employers. In all, the American Institute of Stress estimates that job stress costs U.S. industry more than $300 billion a year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, and medical, legal and insurance costs.” This can ruin a corporations annual goals, not to mention the overall lifespan of a much smaller business. So how can employers address this ever growing issue without compromising the success of their business?

Our suggestion is to implement a three-pronged intervention strategy which all employees will benefit from. Working with your HR/Hiring Manager to address stress reduction, stress management, and stress support from day 1 will be key in eradicating many of the most common effects stress has within your company.

Stress Reduction

Open the doors of communication to discuss workplace concerns with struggling employees. Be open that the cause of the stress may not be from work, but from the employee’s personal life.

Consider offering flexible work-schedules and paid time off to alleviate personal stressors which the employee may be struggling through.

 

Stress Management

Enhance your employee benefits package to include benefits for mental and physical health. Did you know that depression alone costs U.S. employers an average of $44 billion annually in loss of productivity? A simple enhancement in the current Employee Assistance Program (EAP) could greatly impact your business in a day-to-day capacity.

Schedule in-house meditation classes as an unexpected way to improve not only the mental clarity and productivity of your team, but also their overall physical health. With more and more individuals gravitating to alternative health solutions, meditation is being implemented by CEO’s all over the globe to increase company morale and reduce physical strain on employees immune systems, therefore reducing time off.

“I am very interested in keeping a clear head. So I enjoy meditation, which I’ve been doing for over a decade – probably to help relieve the stress I was going through when I was working at Oracle.”  – Marc Benioff, co-founder and CEO of Salesforce.com – San Francisco Chronicle

Schedule off-site team building events to leave positive and enduring effects on your team. Prepare your staff for the planned activity by explaining how you hope to alter the dynamic through the exercise and what outcomes you hope to avoid. Be open to suggestions from your employees during the process as this will continue to implement and grow the avenues of communication.

Stress Support

Ensure abusive and violent workplace stressors are eradicated. Take advantage of local and regional coalitions to address more severe stress factors your employees may be experiencing. Many such organizations will gladly come and speak to your staff and offer insight and discreet resources for those who are being oppressed. We have partnered with South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse (SCCADVASA), and they would be more than happy to guide you to the right resource for your staff’s needs.

Set a personal example. The biggest impact on any company are the behaviors that roll down from the top. Whether you are the company owner or a direct manager of a small team, show your employees how to manage their stress through setting your own healthy example.

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