Dave Deslauriers /
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How Managers Can Help Reduce Workplace Stress

We all deal with workplace stress in our careers. Whether it’s a large workload, fast approaching deadlines, upset clients, or an angry boss, things can arise each and every day that have us feeling anxious. However, what many people don’t realize is just how severe the issue actually is. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has dubbed workplace stress the “health epidemic of the 21st century”, costing American businesses an estimated $300 Million annually. So with that in mind, here are several expert tips for managers to help alleviate workplace stress in employees.

Make Your Employees Feel Valued

According to an article featured on CBS Detroit, ensuring that your employees feel valued is a great way to alleviate stress. “When employees feel as though they are disposable, it can make for a stressful work environment. For this reason, it is important to communicate to your employees that they are valued at the company. Make sure to do this with all of your communication, however, or it can feel forced. A Forbes.com article titled, “4 Simple Ways to Make Your Employees Feel Valued” states, “The more you recognize your employees’ specific contributions to the team, the more irreplaceable they’ll feel.” Being personal when giving work assignments, and taking an interest in your employees makes them feel like part of the team.”

Don’t Micromanage

No one enjoys being told how to do their job. It makes employees feel incompetent and can potentially come across as demeaning. An article by Forbes elaborates, “Steve Jobs is credited with the quote, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” Your employees are your greatest asset and your greatest resource. You hired each of them for a reason. Trust that reason. When they step in the door, let them do their job—even if it may be done differently than how it was done by someone else. Only interject if it’s actually helpful to do so.”

Promote Physical Activity

It’s a well-known fact that exercise is a great way to reduce stress. With that being the case, promoting some form of physical activity for employees makes sense. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) agrees, suggesting “Sticking to a regular exercise program of brisk walking can boost a person’s immune system. Even low levels of aerobic exercise help. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking five days a week is effective. Managers can add walking breaks or other exercise to meeting agendas. Scheduling 15-minute walking breaks during long meetings helps reduce stress that might have built up. Employees typically come back refreshed and ready to work.”

Provide Employees with All of the Tools Necessary to do the Job

As we mentioned in a previous article “The Benefit of a Company Car to a Millennial”, failing to provide employees with the necessary tools to be successful can not only increase stress, but cost your company potential or current talent as well. Employee Wellness Solutions website Wellsteps.com explains “Job stress is the “harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker.” Employees who are expected to perform tasks without necessary resources and supplies will feel powerless and become stressed as a result.”

Many employees feel as if they’re not provided good direction. As managers, we must ensure that we provide a way to clearly communicate employee needs and then supply them with appropriate resources.

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