If a business achieves new heights because of the unique strategies implemented by its managers, it must not forget that it still runs on the shoulders of its capable employees. But what happens when the same employees are subjected to tremendous stress? It doesn’t work well either for employees or businesses.

Stress is one of the biggest productivity killers in any organization and, by the way, it is becoming a commonplace mostly in the working class. Though it differs from one workplace to another depending on the nature of work, poor job design, improper management and lack of support are the most common causes of stress.

Many studies converge on the fact that the past one-and-half decade saw businesses undergoing rapid changes, which include competition, pressure, needs, quick and appropriate innovations, etc. As a result, enterprises suffer from increased work stress, dismal performance, and low productivity. In addition to being a hurdle for the organization’s success, stress has hazardous physical and mental effects on the employees themselves. As suggested by healthline.com stress can result in irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, and insomnia.

If your employees are feeling constant stress at the workplace, it is high time take an appropriate action to curb this menace.

Here are some effective ways to do so:

Set clear and achievable goals for your staff

When you set clear and achievable goals for your team, they are more likely to achieve them without feeling too much worked up. Setting achievable goals involves a vision for how you plan to get there. Your employees develop a clear understanding of what it is you want to accomplish. You need to consider whether your employees have the required skill-sets or resources, else they will feel unnecessary stress. It is a good idea to discuss your thoughts with your employees and factor their opinions in creating and meeting organizational goals. That way, your staff will feel valued, motivated and committed. Make sure your managers assist teams with creating personal goals that align with those of your organizations.

Show your appreciation

A gesture of appreciation always goes a long way in making your staff motivated and happy. Since you haven’t gathered a fleet of robots to work tirelessly for you, instead your employees are working as a one big unit having individual aspirations. A genuine word of appreciation, therefore, can uplift their enthusiasm and comfort level.

Showing appreciation and recognition to employees, who usually face a hard time to perform well, can motivate them effectively and bring them out of stress. A simple ‘Thank You’ or ‘well done’ can uplift the morale of your team members. You can also throw office parties for completing their projects or achieving stated targets. On such occasions, having a toast with custom wine labels would be an amazing way of appreciating their performance. This way of recognizing the efforts of your employees will shoot up their motivation levels for sure.

Offer a fair and flexible work environment

Work environments that are unfair, unpredictable and inflexible are no less than ‘toxic workplaces.’  Stress is bound to creep in when a company doesn’t value its employees and mistreat them; that is why organizations that value their employees and provide fair work environments are more profitable than those who don’t. Growing body of research shows working in an environment that is seen as fair helps offset the effects of stress. This is because employees tend to have greater self-worth and higher-self esteem within the organization. Sometimes flexible work environment is needed because it reduces some unnecessary pressures in the lives of employees. It is clear that companies with environments characterized by fairness and flexibility successfully reduce stress levels of their employees and improve profitability.

Show that you care for them

As a concerned business owner or manager, you should be mindful of how various situations could arise in the lives of your employees, which may result in stress. For example, serious illness, financial problems, depression or the demise of a loved one could be heartbreaking for some of your employees. Keeping this in mind, you can initiate employee assistance programs (EAPs) to address their genuine problems. If you notice any of the above mentioned distressing symptoms in your employees, you can organize a trauma treatment session for them so that they can recover from these issues. When you show them you really care about their health and well-being, it leaves a positive impact on them, and they remain motivated.

Discourage substance abuse

Substance abuse isn’t right, be it in personal or professional life. Many people start abusing substances when they are highly stressed. It will have serious health issues for employees on the one hand, while undesirable consequences for your business on the other. So educate them about the seriousness of such actions as a friend or mentor without being too intrusive. You can tell them how to take lessons from survivors of addiction so that they are discouraged to tread on that path.  You can also motivate them to control their diet, exercise and sleep routines.

Final Words

Today, stress is widespread and has no boundaries. It not only affects the personal and professional lives of people but also negatively impacts their emotions and physical abilities. When it comes to business productivity and profitability, stress has devastating consequences. So it’s a pressing need on the part of organizations to make their employees stress-free and happy.

Smith Willas is a freelance writer, blogger, and digital media journalist. He has a management degree in Supply Chain & Operations Management and Marketing and boasts a wide-ranging background in digital media.

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