Job stress is no joke. If you’re like many managers, you’ve put a lot of thought into how to keep your employees physically safe, from providing comprehensive training on machinery usage to making sure there is plenty of PPE (personal protective equipment). But you might not have thought about their mental health.
Job stress affects 36% of workers in the United States, leading to a stunning $30 billion in lost workdays each year. If yours is a potentially dangerous worksite such as a warehouse or factory, stressed-out employees are also at greater risk for injury. To help your employees de-stress, here are a few things you can do.
Boost Communication about Job Stress
The number one thing you can do to lower stress in the workplace is to improve communication. When people feel heard and respected, their stress levels naturally come down, while negative relationships can drown out nearly every other measure you take. Model strong communication skills, and offer both staff and management the opportunity to take training courses in conflict resolution, giving and receiving feedback, and person-centered communication.
Offer Paid Time Off
If you can find a way to fit it into the budget, offer your employees paid time off. Getting away from the pressures of work and having some fun is an excellent way to reduce job stress and improve mental health. Push your high performers actually to take that time rather than letting it build up.
Build-in Break Time
Whether you put your employees on a rotation that offers regular breaks throughout the day or simply encourage them to take a few minutes as needed, short breaks give team members the chance to clear their heads. Even 10 or 15 minutes at a time can help lower stress levels and improve focus.
Add Teambuilding Activities
Onsite activities such as video games, board games, or meditation classes, as well as offsite trips such as wine tastings or picnics, are a great way to help employees de-stress. They also encourage bonding, which can make your team more cohesive and resilient.
Provide Flexible Work Schedules
Many employees are balancing work with family responsibilities. Flexible work schedules can help reduce their job stress. They’ll be able to take care of their families as needed, and be more fully present at work.
Workplace stress can range from annoying to dangerous, and it can be costly for employers. Fortunately, following the simple steps above can help lower the stress levels at your worksite and create a more relaxed and healthy atmosphere for everyone.
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