JOHANNESBURG - With high-pressure working environment and the 24/7 digital demands of the current business world, workplace stress has become increasingly common.
The World Health Organisation has now officially recognises workplace “burnout” as an occupational phenomenon.
As a business leader, it is critical to help your team to effectively manage their stress levels in order to ensure maximum production.
Herewith are seven simple tips below for optimal results:
Spend time and effort highlighting exceptionally good work done by as this can make people feel valued and raise morale. Compassionate leaders are likely to understand what motivates their employees, which in turn promotes staff happiness and retention. When a team feels supported, they’re more likely to cope better, and reach out when they need guidance.
Time management is one of the most effective ways of easing work stress. Proper planning ahead also helps with predicting when a workload might be too much or a deadline is at risk of slipping – allowing the chance to recognise a potentially flawed strategy, pull in additional resources or workshop a better solution.
Having a clear idea of the bigger picture helps staff to see that their efforts amount to something tangible and positive. This helps with motivation and stress management. Make sure everyone understands the goals, buys into them and celebrate milestones as a team.
Allowing employees a degree of flexibility to manage their personal lives whilst ensuring that the workload still gets done can help alleviate some of their stress. By showing that you trust people to manage their own time, you cultivate an office culture of trust and respect where people can be happier.
Physical and mental wellbeing are intrinsically linked, so it is important that your staff eat correctly, stay active and get enough sleep. Look to swap out highly caffeinated and sugary drinks in your business with healthier options. Introduce a wellness day or even offer complimentary exercise classes during lunch breaks a few times a week.
During busy periods people often forgo leave owed to them. However not taking time off is bad for stress levels and can have a negative impact on productivity. Be cautious therefore that management does not endorse too much overtime, for example by expecting staff to be checking emails and taking business calls after hours.
Encourage your staff to communicate when they might be struggling with workload and to ask for help when they need it. Remove the stigma around mental health issues like anxiety and depression, by educating people on what symptoms to look out for - even arranging to have a professional counsellor come into the office from time to time.
Ben Bierman is a managing director at Business Partners Limited