Did you know that 40% of American workers feel like their job is very or extremely stressful? Employees who suffer from stress-related symptoms are less likely to be productive in their jobs which can lead to overall productivity suffering in the workplace.
Employees that aren’t under a huge amount of stress will often be far more productive and enthusiastic in their job. So, what do you need to know about employee stress and how to manage it?
Signs of Employee Stress
There are many different signs that could mean your employees are under too much stress. The first signs to look out for are physical signs. These can include:
- Dermatological problems
- Heart Palpitations
Of course, these physical symptoms can be caused by other things so it’s a good idea to look for further symptoms. You may notice psychological symptoms in your employees which can range from anxiety and depression to irritability or feeling overwhelmed.
Employees who are suffering from stress may take more sick days than usual and they may not be as creative as they usually are. You may find that they have little patience and prefer to isolate themselves rather than develop relationships.
What Triggers Stress in the Workplace?
These days, everything moves quickly. Demand in the workplace is at an all-time high but that doesn’t have to mean everyone feels extremely stressed.
There are several common triggers that can lead to your employee stress that causes problems.
For example, if an employee is having difficulty with working relationships, it could cause unnecessary tension in the workplace that leads to stress. Other common triggers include bad management practices or a lack of support.
An employee may begin to feel stressed if there’s a lack of organization in the department. It can be difficult to complete projects if there’s no communication or organization between colleagues.
Of course, the most complained about trigger for stress is working long hours or having a heavy workload. Although this is difficult to avoid on occasion, it should never be consistent.
How to Help an Employee With Stress
As a manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure the workplace environment is as healthy as possible. Each of your employees should be properly trained in order to do their jobs as well as possible.
It’s important for your employees to know that it’s okay to talk about their stress levels. Feeling stressed because of the job you’re doing shouldn’t be a taboo subject in the workplace.
Ensure that you’re meeting with your employees on a one-on-one basis at regular intervals to discuss their job role. This is a great opportunity for employees to raise any issues and for you to present new challenges if you feel the employee requires it.
A certain degree of flexibility should be exercised in the workplace. Managers should recognize that home and family life can play a part in stress-related behavior. There will be times when employees have to put their family life before the demands of their jobs.
How Employees Can Help Themselves
Someone suffering from stress needs to make changes in order to relieve their symptoms. Here are some of the things recommended for employees who are stressed.
Talk to your employer
Your employer may not be aware of the amount of stress you’re under. Talking to your employer and discussing your issues could bring about the changes you need.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Sometimes, there is no avoiding the stresses of life. However, that doesn’t mean you have to suffer debilitating symptoms. Practicing mindfulness and meditation is a fantastic way of managing stress.
The great thing about meditation is that it can be done anywhere, at any time. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed at work, you can step out of the office to take a meditation break.
You also have the option of mindfulness therapy. The benefits of therapy are vast because it can help you to identify your own stress triggers and find solutions to ensure your mental health stays on track.
Put Yourself First
With the pressures of work, family and everything else, you may have put yourself at the bottom of your priority list. The problem is, when you don’t look after yourself, you’re bound to reach a breaking point. You’re not a machine.
Taking some time out for yourself is one of the best ways you can unwind and avoid stress taking over. Make sure to take all of your entitled vacation days, stay at home when you’re feeling unwell, eat healthy meals and exercise regularly.
Ask for Advice
There may be times when you’ve done everything within your power to lower your stress levels without success. During these times, you may consider finding another job or changing your role within the company.
This can be a big decision and one that often warrants advice from someone else. Ask for advice from your friends and family and you can even visit your doctor if you’re having difficulty relieving your stress.
Avoiding Employee Stress
Employee stress is bad for business, so it’s important to do what you can to ensure your employees feel as healthy as they can. As an employer, you need to be aware of the problems your employees are having, which means you need to be approachable.
If your employees feel they can come to you with their issues, you’ll be able to resolve problems without too much hassle and the work won’t suffer.
Take a look at some great tips for building great working relationships with your employees.