10 Ways To Decrease Employee Stress

Indoor PlantsStress it at an all-time high in the US.

We can all understand the negatives associated with stress.

It also appears that stress affects our ability to tap into memories and to learn new things. If you’re noticing that your employees are struggling to perform jobs they should remember how to do, it could be a symptom of stress.

Your body breaks down. You get sick. You get fatigued. You can’t work.

It’s not good for people. As an employer, boss, business owner or whatever,  it’s not good when your employees are too stressed.

It could be partly due to their work. It could be something else going on in their lives. You can’t control every aspect of what your employees do, but there are some things you can control and help with.

Here are some of those things…

1. Autonomy

I think this one is overlooked, but could be the most important when it comes to stress…and just for life in general.

Obviously with any work arrangement there is an agreement. The employee provides a task in exchange for money. But it doesn’t mean that the arrangement will be a positive one. If the employee has a big need for money and feels like they have few options it can lead to stress. Especially if the employer doesn’t treat them well.

And treating them well could mean finding the right mix of telling them what to do and how to do it while also allowing them to be in control of their own destiny.

It’s a natural human feeling to want to be in control of ourselves. Fighting it only leads to stress and unhappiness.

Find ways that your employees can be in control of the work they do. It will make them happier.

2. Appropriate Reaction To Negatives

Have you ever been around someone that seems to overreact to little things?

It happens for various reasons. Maybe a number of little things led to one thing setting the person off.

Maybe they’re looking to feel alive so they bring drama to their own life any way they can.

If you haven’t noticed others doing this it could be a sign that you’re the one that overreacts.

And that could be leading to more stress for your employees.

No boss likes when employees make mistakes. But blowing up and overreacting isn’t going to help things. Deal with the situation. Look for ways to prevent the same thing from happening in the future.

Adding stress to the situation will lead to more mistakes.

3. Onsite Food Options

Food plays a big role in our lives.

The old saying is that you can’t outrun your diet. You can exercise all you want, but you’ll never be in shape unless you eat well.

And that goes for your brain health as well. The poorer people eat the more stressed they are.

You don’t have complete control over how your employees eat, but you can offer low stress options at the office. Take the candy out of the vending machine and set out some healthy options like nuts, olives, pickles, avocados, boiled eggs and more.

4. Onsite Exercise Options

Speaking of exercise, we all know that it’s good for us. But we have so many options to avoid it today that we do avoid it. We choose the closest parking spot to the front door. We take the elevator. We’re naturally inclined to make life easy.

But even a little exercise like walking can make a big difference.

You can do a little to help your employees. Allow them to take walking breaks. Go for walking meetings. Add a couple walking treadmills to the break room.

5. Sleep Example Setting

Since we’re born we’re always paying attention to the actions of others. We don’t take orders very well, but we do pay attention to action.

It starts with you, the boss.

If you’re working nonstop and getting little sleep and stressed all the time then your team will follow suit.

It’s up to you to try and set a good example of how to sleep. That means getting 7-8 hours every night. It means knowing how to get deep sleep.

If you come in bright eyed and busy tailed every morning your team will notice. And they’ll likely follow you and that will help the entire sleep situation at your office.

6. Conflict Mediation

Amongst employees.

One of the big stressors for employees is often another employee. They won’t always get along. Their personalities might clash. There may be bullying.

You can help by identifying the issues. Ask your team where the conflicts are. Ask who is and isn’t getting along or who doesn’t work well together.

Then try to intervene and figure out why they don’t work well together.

If you can figure out a solution to this problem you can relieve a lot of stress for some employees.

7. Office Space Layout Changes

Open offices have been popular the last decade. But it turns out that they may be adding to employee stress.

A lot of little things about your office could be stressful. A difficult left turn into the parking lot. A bathroom with little privacy. Loud neighbors. A challenging coffee maker. All kinds of little and big things.

8. Priority Lists

One sneaky form of stress that seems to be more common than ever is the boss simply adding to a to-do list.

It seems harmless. You get an idea. You tell your employee to look into it or to work on it. But to them it’s just another item added onto their already huge list. And they’re not sure where this new item fits in the priority order with all the other items.

It’s stressful.

Instead of just piling more on. Focusing on fewer tasks for your employees.

Know that by adding a new item that you have to take one item off their list. Have them keep a running priority list. When you add something check the list and see if it really should be added.

9. More Nature

Bring nature into the office. Also allow employees to work outside or walk outside or eat outside.

For much of our history we’ve been outdoors. Almost all the time. But today we live most of our lives indoors. It’s not natural. We’re not adapted yet.

Nature reduces stress.

10. Deep Breathing

This is one of the best videos I’ve ever found on YouTube. It definitely helps lower stress in just a few minutes.

Final Thought

Stress affects your employees. There are some things you can’t help, but there are many that you can help with. Focus on what you control and it will be good for your team and thus, good for you and your business.

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