Studies continue to show that workplace stress is becoming a leading source of stress for many Americans.
What is causing this increase? According to a DHHS (NIOSH) Publication, there are many factors at play, including:
- An employee’s work demands have risen, and they don’t feel supported
- Job responsibilities don’t match an employee’s skill set
- Lack of recognition and feeling unappreciated
- Lack of work/life balance
So, as an employer, what can you do to help ease workplace stress?
It’s easy to go to the usual tactics: stress management flyers, lunch & learns and learning modules -but we want to encourage you to go beyond simply educating employees. Instead, let’s focus on recognizing the above causes of stress, and implementing action-based management intiatives to combat them.
Here are 9 ways you can begin to tackle workplace stress:
- Set policies that allow employees to take a break for quiet time or exercise
- Create a separate space for quiet meditation/down time
- Implement 5 minute stretch breaks every hour and include a handout of various stretches that can be done at the employee’s workstation
- Encourage and create social activities amongst employees to inspire team building and positive emotional connections
- Host onsite yoga classes
- Encourage exercise with walking groups
- Offer an open-door policy to encourage communication
- Offer flexible scheduling
- Provide healthy snacks in the break room
By taking a step back and looking at what can be done to decrease workplace stress rather than simply educate about it, you and your employees will both feel the benefits.
...What initiatives do you use to ease stress in the workplace? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section below.