Creating a stressful environment where your employees are under intense pressure to meet deadlines and achieve goals is ineffective.
Instead, you should find as many ways as possible to reduce employee stress. Doing this will result in employees who work harder yet enjoy their work far more.
Below, you can find our best tips to achieve this working environment by reducing employee stress.
How Can You Reduce Employee Stress?
Instead, change the working environment and culture so employees don’t have to deliver excellent work under stress.
To give you an idea of how to change this working environment, here are 14 tips to reduce employee stress.
1.Create a Positive Environment 😄
Our first point is critical, as many of our further tips return here. Being positive is critical.
You need to bolster every employee element under your control with positive re-enforcement to reduce employee stress; this includes:
- Positive communication – create clear communication channels.
- Encourage teamwork and avoid unhealthy competition.
- Appreciate your employees’ effort; being too critical can stress them out and put them in a negative headspace.
2.Set Realistic Targets 🎯
Strict deadlines significantly increase employee stress. Some managers even set strict deadlines because they think the pressure will get the best work out of their employees.
Unfortunately, this strategy is incredibly outdated. Thankfully, the solution lies in the complete opposite approach.
Realistic employee deadlines give them enough time to double-check their work and perfect it. They will also appreciate the extra time because it allows for more effective research and finalizing (if required).
Also, you should fully define what you want from your employees. If the tasks are too vague, they will question what you want from them; this increases their stress.
3.Ensure That you Promote Relaxation in the Workplace 🛌
The mental image of a modern office is slowly (but surely) shifting away from the grey, dull cubicle setup that many people associate with a hostile workplace.
Nowadays, you should have a more open workspace for your employees and plenty of relaxation areas. You should aim to create the perfect balance between productivity and relaxation to get the best results.
Also, encourage your workforce to find ways to relax; say “close your eyes” to them, for example, or do some breathing exercises to cope with stress like taking deep breaths.
4.Encourage Employees to Have a Work-life Balance
A Linkedin 2023 study states that 51% of Australian workers hold flexibility as one of their top work priorities.
Flexibility means having the opportunity to create a work-life balance. Although you should want commitment from your employees, overworking them can result in burnout and disengagement.
You can encourage employees to have a work-life balance (seeing their family members, for example) by implementing the following things:
- Flexible working hours; one half-day a week, for example.
- Remote work as a full-time option, or a hybrid setup.
- Encourage your employees to take time off if they need it. Use time and attendance software to manage this properly.
5.Reward Employees for Their Successes 🏆
The pressure to impress ‘the boss’ is a massive contributor to stress in the workplace. Therefore, it is up to you to remove this stigma by rewarding employees when they complete a task.
You can do this by:
- Expressing your sincere gratitude.
- Formally recognizing their achievements with something like an employee of the month system.
- Giving them a yearly bonus or a prize for completing a challenging task (like a gift card).💰
6.Offer to Support Employee Mental Health🧠
Mental health can be a massive issue you need to be fully supportive of in the workplace. If you don’t do this, employee stress can go up, and it can cost your business a lot of money because of the numerous days off they need.
Source World Health Organization
To support employee mental health, try some of the following:
- Implement an employee assistance program.
- Offer mental health resources like a workplace therapist.
- Set up workshops for stress management.
Look after your employees as if they are your family.
7.Promote Physical Health at the Workplace 🏋️
Along with mental health, physical health can be critical to keeping stress levels low. High stress can cause a high heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension, so physical activity is critical in the workplace.
To maintain physical health among your employees, you can implement the following:
- In-house gym access (or gym memberships).
- Walking meetings in the local area around the business.
- A cycle-to-work scheme with incentives.
- Monthly (or weekly) wellness challenges like a healthy eating or weight loss challenges
8.Create Social Events 🎳
Although promoting a work-life balance is essential to energizing your employees, there is no guarantee your employees will form relationships outside of work.
Promoting this can create a strong team who actively wants to work together. Creating social events outside of work can be the answer.
Examples of this include:
- Organizing team-building activities.
- Creating social events like restaurant visits, leisure activities (like bowling), or nights at bars or clubs. 🍸
- Hosting virtual events like quizzes or game nights.
9.Trust Employees to Make Key Decisions
For some employees, the idea that you may not trust them is enough to stress them out.
A 2021 UKG study states, “Nearly two-thirds (64%) of employees say trust has a direct impact on their sense of belonging at work”.
Trusting your employees to make decisions impacts their sense of belonging, decreases their stress, and reassures them that you value their input.
Also, involving employees in the decision-making process (when appropriate) shows them that they are a valuable addition to the company.
10.Manage Employee Workloads 💻
Employees want fair treatment, so you must create a fair workload distribution.
If you like one employee’s work more than others, this doesn’t mean you should give them an unrealistic workload.
If one employee has too much, redistribute some of their work to someone with a smaller workload.
11.Encourage Regular Breaks ☕
Believe it or not, regular breaks can improve productivity at work, although some would assume it’s the opposite.
There is plenty of evidence to state that employees feel energized and reset after a small break. It is one of the best ways to avoid burnout.
Therefore, you should encourage these breaks, especially for employees who don’t take enough of them.
12.Create Clear Communication Channels 📱
Employees want to know what you require of them; confusion can quickly lead to stress.
Therefore, you should establish some clear communication channels.
Here are some examples
13.Give Your Employees Opportunities to Grow
While some prefer a comfortable, consistent job, others actively seek growth opportunities. Denying these employees can result in an increase in stress due to monotony.
You should offer development programs so employees can learn new skills and gain experience for new job opportunities in the company. Doing this will motivate them to take on new challenges and complete tasks excellently.
14.Be an Example to Your Employees
Finally, it’s one thing to implement these ideas into the workplace, but another to implement them into your own working life.
For example, if you expect your employees to create a work-life balance, you should do the same.
Find More Ways to Improve Your Employees’ Experience with Tommy
The tips and tricks in our guide can help you create a new working environment in the long term where your employees feel less stressed, don’t feel overwhelmed and have much more energy to complete excellent work.
If you want to find more ways to create an optimal environment for your employees, check out our features.