Stress is a constant factor in every job or workplace. Unfortunately, stress and productivity do not go together. One has to be absent for the other to thrive. In fact, according to NIOSH’s recently released paper, about 40% of all workers said their jobs were very stressful, while another 29% admitted to being extremely stressed at work. How can anyone work when they feel that way?
A stressed employee is a marginally productive one. A relaxed and less stressed worker is one that can do their job well and even go above and beyond. In fact, stress alone is responsible for over $300 billion in lost revenues annually; most of these as a result of medical and health problems resulting in more absent days at work.
Now, we are not saying that you can eliminate it – after all, a little stress is necessary to be productive – it does need to be kept at manageable levels. Otherwise, you would be toying with your employees’ mental, physical and emotional well-being. The following should help you keep stress levels manageable and reasonably low in the workplace.
Find the Source
There are many causes of stress in the office. It is your duty to discover where exactly they are coming from. Locate the trigger points that cause them. For many, the major causes of stress at work include work overload, extreme hours and unpaid overtime, poor communication or frequent miscommunication, harassment and discrimination at work, harmful work conditions, personal and family issues, emotional predisposition, and job insecurity to mention a few. These are all possible causes of stress that should be looked into if you want to start getting more out of your staff.
Eliminate all Triggers
Once you have located them, do the best to get rid of those triggers. We understand that stress can be personal sometimes, but when it is work related, you should do all you can to help your employees get rid of that. If the causes of stress are personal, you could ask them to seek help, and maybe even provide employee assistance programs that will help cover the expenses.
Provide Necessary Decompressing Spots
There’s a reason Google, Facebook, Zappos and many other tech companies are frequently ranked among the top companies to work with: it is because these businesses have ways of keeping their employees happy.
Apart from a handsome remuneration, one of the ways they keep their employees happy and exceedingly productive is by creating decompression rooms and spots in the office. In these rooms, employees should be able to relax and bleed off stress hampering their productivity.
One of the primary causes of stress in the workplace is poor communication and inadequate collaboration. Many office disagreements and misunderstandings can be traced to some communication gap. What if you eliminated that gap? What if you provided tools that keep everyone updated and informs them of project’s progress? This will help reduce many queries, yelling, and other conflicts.
People are better able to do their jobs and are more inclined to do it happily if they know where exactly they are and what is expected of them. So, make provision for these facilities in the workplace. They can be the difference between slightly happier, very productive employees and grumpy employees with low productivity.
Stress can be controlled and the employees, made more productive. You just need to take the necessary steps to eliminate as much of the causes as well as provide the necessary solutions. If you do all these, you will soon find that your employees can be more productive than they are now.
The writer, Oscar King, has worked in the health and safety industry and has learned how something as seemingly common as stress can lead to massive costs for the company due to accidents that result. For businesses needing consulting on how to make their workplace healthier and safer he highly recommends contacting California Employer Services.