Stress Management = $ and Happier Workplaces

“If you know what to do, how to act, and what to say – you’ll be Safer and Saner – where ever you work, what ever you do, whoever you’re with.”

Every manager in the world knows that stress is deadly to the workplace. That’s why so much time, money, and effort are dedicated toward implementing stress management practices that aim to boost productivity, decrease worker absences, and overall make your workplace happier and healthier. For decades, studies have proven that stress is a leading cause of illnesses and even mental disorders. The cost of claims filed – related to stress – totals in the $150+ billion range, annually, just in the US. This includes employee absenteeism, turnover, poor productivity, compensation claims, health insurance, and direct medical expenses. In order to avoid the costs related to stress, businesses throughout New Zealand, Australia, and North America regularly institute stress-management programs,  designed to give their employees the tools and resources necessary to identify stressful situations, and the ability to cope with these stressors in a healthy manner. While companies typically need the help of an expert when implementing a stress-free environment, you as a manager can begin to create the type of workplace that reduces stress among your staff.

Some tips for increasing productivity and decreasing stress

One of the biggest stressors found in the workplace is time. We become so stressed out by the constant slippage of time. Your employees (and you) must realize that we can’t manage time. We have no control over the ticking of a clock. We can only manage ourselves. Thus, it’s important to be honest about how much time we waste, as a result of:

  • Disorganization
  • Personal phone calls
  • Poor planning
  • Unclear goals
  • Lack of focus
  • Lack of training
  • Procrastination

Many people complain that there’s not enough time in the day to get their job done; however, most of these people also waste their time because of the scenarios listed above. Working in this type of state is a breeding ground for stress. As a manager, you can help your workers feel less stressed – due to time – by implementing certain processes in the workplace. For example, make sure your employees are well trained for their tasks and are always clear about the goals and objectives. Also, put into place milestones or “sprints.” These are like daily checkups – or even hourly checkups – that help to keep your workers focused on the task at hand, rather than the big picture. By knowing they have a deadline in an hour (rather than in two weeks), your employees are less likely to waste time and get distracted. In the end, they’ll realize they had far more time than they thought, and, in turn, will feel less stressed.|

Other tips to creating a stress free/happy workplace

  1. Give a voice to your workers – Depending on the size of your business, you may or may not have a human resources manager. If you don’t, assign an employee advocate, who can get feedback from your workers and keep you informed on concerns and issues.
  2. Communicate – Open communication in the workplace is key. And we don’t just mean niceties and casual conversation. As a manager you need to encourage open communication during times of conflict, creativity and beyond.
  3. Exercise – Developing some type of wellness program at work is tantamount to pushing those gray clouds away. Exercise helps keep your workers focused and productive, as well as happy. And, if you’re able to invite a fitness instructor into your workplace once or twice per week, you’ll also build camaraderie and teamwork among your staff.

Less stress = More $$$

Stress makes for bad productivity, for a number of reasons. When we’re stressed, we’re less likely to complete jobs to our full capabilities. We’re less committed to the job at hand. We’re less imaginative and creative. We’re less likely to collaborate. A successful business relies on the passion, commitment and productivity of its workers. Whether it’s making sales calls, collaborating on a project, or filing paperwork, a stressed employee will not live up to his potential. This costs your company money. No training or education in the world can combat with the ill effects of stress, which is why companies across New Zealand, Australia and North America invest so much energy in workplace stress seminars. None of your employees want to feel stressed. Everyone wants to enjoy coming to work. Unfortunately, a growing number of the population don’t know how to achieve this. Through the expertise and compassion of a workplace stress expert, such as AACT-NOW, your staff can acquire the tools and resources to reduce their stress, increase their happiness, and thus, as a result, boost your overall work productivity. Photo by: Creative Commons License: