How to minimise stress in the workplace- a guide for employers

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As an employer, you have a responsibility to look after your staff’s wellbeing. It is in your best interest to ensure that your employees are happy and healthy as your organisation’s success depends on it. When employees are happier and healthier, they are likely to work harder, achieve better outcomes, and contribute to a more pleasant atmosphere in the workplace.
How to minimise stress in the workplace- a guide for employers

There could be a range of causes which trigger stress at work. Some of the most common reasons can include the following:

  • Personal problems at home;
  • The demands of the role;
  • Inability to meet financial commitments;
  • Working environment;
  • Unsatisfactory salary;

What can you do as an employer to minimise stress in the workplace? Well there are a number of steps you can take and below we look at a few examples which could hopefully help your organisation.

Train your managers

Your managers play an important role in your organisation. Your managers also interact closely with their staff and it is important that they have the skills and confidence to speak to their team about their health. Detecting signs and causes of workplace stress will help them to notice changes in their staff’s behaviour and mood. If managers do not have the necessary training or awareness, they may be unable to detect workplace stress. Often managers operate a more formal approach with their team members and the results can be counter-effective.

You should also encourage your managers to hold regular one- to- one meetings with their team members. This will also give employees the opportunity to talk about how they are getting on with their work and discuss any issues which might be affecting their health or performance.  It is imperative that your managers properly listen and understand any concern that their team member has raised. If an employee discussed a problem that they have, managers should find a solution that will help to alleviate the stress they are experiencing. If managers do not find solutions or show lack of interest, their team members will lose confidence in their managers.

Change the culture in your business

In many workplaces, employees feel unable to talk to their managers about their mental health. There is still a stigma attached to mental health and people are worried to come across as weak if they admit that they are struggling. It is important to make it known that stress is not a weakness, and can affect anyone at any level of an organisation. There are several steps you could take to promote positive mental health and well-being and open up conversations in the workplace. These could include the following:

  • Fact-sheet about mental health and stress;
  • Links to helpful web-pages;
  • Referral to counselling;
  • corporate gym memberships  

Offer a flexible working environment  

Nowadays, most employees are looking for a degree of flexibility at work. You should offer your employees flexibility by taking a step back and allowing them to take ownership of their projects, which is likely to increase their motivation levels as well as their loyalty to your organisation. You can also consider providing flexible working hours to your team members who have children so that they can better manage their parental responsibilities and spend more time with their children. Happy parents are usually happier employees and happier employees are usually more productive than unhappy employees. Allow working remotely from home so that team members can have a change of environment once a while. Allow your employees to take time when necessary for medical appointments.

Encourage employees to be psychically active

In order to reduce stress in the workplace, encourage your employees to take time from their day to exercise at the gym, take a walk during their lunch or try a yoga class either before or after work. The mind and body will gave greater focus and strength, respectively, when one engages in regular physical exercise. Promoting physical activity such as yoga and running is also a good way for staff to learn how to pace themselves at work.

You should set reminders for your team members to take a 5 – 10 minutes break after every couple of hours of constant staring at their computers. Get them off their chair and on their feet to stretch their body. Encourage them to take coffee and tea breaks with their colleagues.

Do not let your employees take work home

Have a policy in your organisation where you strictly avoid emailing or calling employees after working hours. Do not let your employees to take work home with them as this can increase their stress level and impact on their social time with friends and family. Remember that there needs to be a decent work-life balance in order to ensure higher productivity in the work place.

by Mahshid Javaheri

Mahshid Javaheri

After working as a solicitor for 3 years, Mahshid joined as an Editor and contributor of legal content. Mahshid is passionate about connecting practicing lawyer with the wider business community; she helps lawyers create and distribute insightful and actionable legal content that delivers value to businesses, whilst showcasing the lawyers’ expertise.

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