Everyone knows the dreaded feeling of stress in the workplace.
Say, for example, the boss assigns a huge project that is due next week, but three other projects are already due on top of that, not to mention, this is the company's busy season. An increasing workload and tight deadlines can leave employees feeling anxious, depressed, fatigued, withdrawn, and some may even resort to drug or alcohol abuse. Workplace stress can be cancer to the workforce, creating a harmful environment that eats away at employee morale, productivity, and teamwork.
There are many definitions of stress. The American Institute of Stress states, There has been no definition of stress that everyone accepts. Therefore, it's difficult to measure stress if there is no agreement on what the definition of stress should be. This can cause a problem in identifying employees who might be experiencing workplace stress.
Many factors can contribute to workplace stress, including a heavy workload, hostile work environment, lack of career development, lack of job security, poor supervisors or managers, conflict with coworkers, a feeling of insignificance in one's role, and more. Many of these issues can be resolved with manager training and by implementing best workplace practices.
There are several ways employees and employers alike can manage workplace stress. Here are 4 ways to get started:
1. Manage yourself.
Walk away. Take a break and walk around. Walking releases feel-good endorphins and refocuses your mind.
Laugh. It is always good to laugh. Laughter causes a positive physical change in your body producing a healthy, relaxing feeling.
2. Manage your time.
Take a break. Breaks help clear your mind, allowing you to relax and recharge your body and increase productivity throughout the day.
Check your schedule. Try not to over analyze your schedule. Make sure you have plenty of time to complete each task.
3. Manage your tasks.
Prioritize. Creating a checklist or a to-do-list can help alleviate stress and reduce job burnout, plus provide a feeling of accomplishment when items are crossed off.
Delegate. You don't always have to do it on your own. If other people can complete the task, ask for assistance.
4. Bosses: manage your organization.
Improve communication. Clearly define job responsibilities and always remember to be friendly and efficient.
Good job! When employees succeed or accomplish something great, praise them. Show them they are valuable to the company's growth.
Remember, a company's greatest asset is human capital. Your company will not succeed if your employees are constantly stressed. For information or human resource guidance on activities that reduce workplace stress, please contact your HR Consultant at Nextep.