How is the stress level at work? The odds are good, there are some employees experiencing work anxiety to the max. The American Institute of Stress says, “Job stress costs U.S. businesses more than $300 billion annually due to increased absenteeism, employee turnover, diminished productivity and medical expenses.” Unfortunately, this statement is right on target. Today, employees are concerned about job layoffs, cut hours, health insurance and a number of personal problems that add additional stress into the mix. As a manager, it is not possible to fix all personal problems, but they can certainly be reduced. Managers can also lessen work related stress for employees using these simple suggestions.
Manager and Employee Relationships
Managers are often in a tough position. In some companies, they are frequently over loaded with work, shorthanded, and they have incredibly short deadlines to get the job done. Consequently, many managers find themselves unbelievable stressed. This work anxiety and tension is transmitted back to the employees, which places additional stress on them. Managers can work out a plan to organize the work more efficiently and reduce stress levels at work for everyone involved.
Many managers make the mistake of taking no interest in their employees or trying to get to know them. This is a huge mistake. According to Professor Astrid M. Richardsen, BI Norwegian Business School “The best thing a manager can do to prevent work stress is to develop good relationships with the employees at work.” Managers who know their employees well can spot when there is a problem immediately and take action to reduce the stress.
Methods for Reducing Workplace Stress
- Encourage team building. Most employees have never met each other and they do not know anything about one another. Managers can devise time for their employees to get together as a team to plan a project, play games or support community activities.
- Provide places for company employees to have a quiet break away from technology or a room to play games in and let off steam.
- Managers can schedule outdoor activities for exercise and fresh air. Consider holding meetings outside the workplace in a different environment and have everyone walk to the meeting. This helps to rejuvenate employees and gives them a chance to stretch their legs.
Look around the office or workplace and see where you can make changes to reduce work anxiety, increase laughter and allow employees to relax.