When employees are stressed, it can affect their job performance, reducing productivity while increasing human error. As an employer, it is your duty to ensure your employees are healthy, happy and safe at work. There are many workplace stresses, such as clients and deadlines, which can cause stress and anxiety; therefore, employers should look for ways to help employees counter these stresses head-on.
Encourage Physical Activity
Exercise is proven to reduce stress. It can help a person maintain mental fitness as well as physical due to an increase in serotonin levels, significantly improving a person’s state of mind. What’s more, it can reduce fatigue, increase concentration levels, and improve alertness.
To encourage physical activity, as a business owner or employer, you could look at setting up a gym in the office, or if there is a gym nearby, include a gym membership in each employee package. What’s more, you could allow employees to finish early one day a week so that they can attend meditation classes, which can not only help with stress but also act as a social event.
Get Employees Away From Their Desks
No employee should spend their lunch break sat at their desk, in front of their computer. The temptation to continue working, be it answering a few emails, is high, so you need to encourage your employees to break away from their desks and only return when their lunch break is well and truly over.
Create a breakroom that is catered to relaxation and socialization. Have comfortable couches, a table for workers to eat at, and even provide some entertainment. You could have a pool table or arcade game available, for example.
Get Employees Out of the Office
Fresh air has a whole host of benefits, and so you want to encourage your employees to head outside during their breaks. Build an outside space which includes benches for them to sit on, grass they could lay a rug on, and during the summer months, hold a company picnic. While you don’t want to make it a forced event, the option for workers to come together can be enough to make employees feel happier.
Make Your Employees Feel Valued
No good work should go unnoticed. If a worker is to excel, be sure to tell them that you are impressed, whether it be in person or over email. When a worker feels valued, they feel as if their efforts have been recognized, and that the extra hours and hard work has been worth it in the end. While congratulating a good job well done may be enough for some employees, though, you may also want to offer them an additional ‘thank you,’ such as a voucher for two to a restaurant. The more you recognize their efforts, the more irreplaceable they feel.
Offer a Flexible Work Environment
Nowadays it is common for offices to allow workers more free reign in when they work and where. Employees with children may feel rushed and flustered heading to work for 8:30 in the morning if they have to race to drop their kids off at school; therefore, allowing them to start work at 9:30 instead can help employees feel less stressed. Coincidently, you can also allow workers to work from home once a week or so if they have issues with child minding.
Provide Proper Training
If your employees do not know how to work with certain tools or systems, they can feel stressed and anxious, as they may make more mistakes than usual. Your employees should be regularly trained. Otherwise, they may not only feel undervalued but also less confident in their abilities to perform well. Speak to your employees and ask if there are any areas they would training in; you may be surprised to find that a lot of workers fell ill-equipped within the office.
Stress is no stranger when it comes to the workplace. However, as an employer, it is your duty of care to manage and monitor the wellbeing of your workers so that they feel like they are succeeding and flourishing in the office.