What can you, as a leader, do when it comes to stress management? They say that a happy employee means a happy and thriving company. But is that true? Is stress management really that important? Here are all the reasons why your employees’ mental solitude matters as well as tips on how to do it.
What Is Stress Management?
Since stress has become one of the primary afflictions in today’s world, it was only natural that we come up with a solution. More than anything else, that solution is stress management. But how can we define it?
To do that, one must first define stress. As a condition, stress is a circumstance in which an individual or a group of people face situations, constraints, the loss of something they wanted, or the undesirable consequences of their actions. All these factors lead them to feel frustrated or worried beyond the reasonable level. When that happens, we can consider it stress.
It can also occur when individuals face excessive pressure or even demands from the people around them. Since stress links so closely as a condition to demands and requirements, it’s easy to see why companies are the first in line to deal with this enemy.
Stress Points of View
When defining stress from a business point of view, it’s important to note and remember that stress isn’t always a negative thing. If the person can handle it in a correct and healthy fashion, stress can also be productive, pushing the individual to conquer his limits and even surpass them. It can also lead to better work quality, increased awareness, creativity, and productivity. You know how some people insist they thrive under pressure? This is what they’re talking about.
They have managed to channel stress and use it to their advantage. When this positive spin on stress happens, specialists call it enstress. In other words, one could say that some individuals crack under pressure while others perform their best.
Seeing things in this light and making the clear distinction between classical stress, enstress, and distress, will help you, as a manager perform the so-called stress management. This concept refers to a plethora of methods and techniques which employers use to make sure their employees’ stress levels don’t go through the roof. If that happens, it could harm the business as well as the people themselves.
Apart from that, stress management is also a tool to handle the problem of stress once it has already occurred.
What Are the Symptoms of Stress in the Workplace?
Prior to performing actual stress management techniques, as the leader, you must assess if your team is, in fact suffering from this condition or not. Here are some factors and symptoms to consider.
- If the people in your team have started to miss work without any real reason such as personal problems, medical conditions or holidays.
- The employees are arriving later than usual and are not able to offer reasonable explanations.
- If they are shying away or even trying to escape their working responsibilities, something which they didn’t use to do in the past.
- They are always irritated or over-reacting to anything.
- If they are not flexible anymore to any solutions, criticism or suggestions.
- Their health is quickly deteriorating. If you start noticing that there are more and more of your employees who are calling in sick, that might be a sign of stress.
- If their eating habits have deteriorated. They might be over- or under-eating.
- They are smoking or drinking a lot more than before.
- If they arrive at work much sleepier than normal.
What Are the Causes of Company Stress?
When it comes to stress management, you must also take into account what exactly is stressing your employees so much. This concept is crucial to the proper handling of the matter. You cannot possibly apply stress management techniques if you don’t know what’s ailing your team. Here are some projected causes.
- A discrimination in the salary structure. Even though salaries are, typically, confidential, people talk. Therefore, they might have gotten word that some employees in your company receive more money than the others, and this is frustrating and stressing them to no end.
- If your rules and regulations are a lot stricter than before.
- The communication between leaders and employees might be ineffective.
- Peer pressure
- The tasks you have set for them are always ambiguous, and they don’t know what they have to do.
- Their working conditions are unsafe, unsanitary or unhealthy.
- You do not take their opinion into consideration when you make decisions that concern them.
- They don’t feel they have enough opportunities for a promotion.
- Their job has become monotonous.
- You or somebody else from the executive level have proved your conversations are not confidential.
- There are too many employees in the same quarters, and they feel crowded.
The Best Strategies for Stress Management
Now that you know how to define stress as a concept, stress management as a practice, and what can cause it, here are some strategies to take care of it.
- Encourage an open type of communication with all your employees. It’s crucial that you don’t overlook anyone, no matter their position in your company.
- When communicating with them, do not be vague or hesitant. Don’t send them mixed signals. It is a known fact that employees will always try to dissect everything their superior has told them. Therefore, if you’re vague, you will only manage to confuse them or stress them out even more.
If need be, take a business communication class.
- As means of performing stress management, you should encourage your employees to participate in the process of making all the decisions that concern them.
- Make sure you distribute salaries and incentives such as bonuses, rewards, and awards in a correct and equitable fashion.
- Give your employees a chance to grow and develop if this is what they want.
Focusing on the Atmosphere: More Tips
- Make sure the working environment is comfortable, safe, and clean.
- When your employees accomplish or even surpass their targets, make sure you let them know how you feel about that. A simple email in which you congratulate and thank them will be more than enough to boost their morale and relieve some of their stress.
- Allow them to take breaks and engage in fun activities at the office. Stress management can also be about bonding and having a good time.
- Enable your employees to express themselves and to let their emotional intelligence show.
- Do not breach the confidentiality clause between you and them. There is nothing more stressful than having opened yourself up to a leader only to find out the information you shared is now public. Not only will it harm your business but you could also be facing a lawsuit.
- As the leader, do not stay self-focused. You might have a lot on your plate trying to run a business successfully but you need to perform stress management, and you know it. Open up and show your employees they are just as important as you are.
Stress management is all about looking around you and actually noticing what is happening. A good boss is the one who understands his employees are real people in need of support and stress release.