Reducing Stress in the Workplace
Stress in the work place negatively impacts productivity, de-motivates staff and can result in high staff turnover. While some staff will enjoy being kept busy, in the long-term, stress at work is damaging and harmful. An important aspect of management is understanding the signs of stress and reducing its levels.
As a manager, how can you reduce stress in your workplace?
Be OrganisedAs a manager, you set the example for appropriate behaviour. If you are disorganised, forget deadlines, are late for meetings; your team will soon see this as behaviour that is tolerated. If however, you have regular team meetings, reminding people of upcoming targets and showing progress, you will instil a culture of organisation.
A lack of organisation is a common cause of stress. Unexpected events will happen that throw any well planned calendar into array, however if you can plan what you do know you can then better cope with any curve balls thrown your way. Being organised means being prepared for the unknown, and while you may not know what is around the corner, you can leave some time in your planning to incorporate any unexpected changes.
Have a diary and keep it up-to-date. Schedule in regular meetings with your team; do just leave it up to them to see you when they have an issue. A regular brief update can prevent a small issue turning into a major problem.
Make it clear to your team that deadlines must be meet and any indication of delays must be highlighted as soon as it becomes known. As the manager, ensure your team remain aware of important commitments and the impact of delays to others.
CommunicateStress can be caused by people misunderstanding a situation and making incorrect assumptions. If people know big changes are happening in their organisation, yet do not know the facts, they can begin to ‘fear the worst’. If, for example, people’s jobs are not under threat, tell them so. While you may not have drawn that conclusion it can be surprising what can cause alarm to others; so where you can, tell people the facts.
Create a Stress Free Working EnvironmentMany physical factors can contribute to stress in the workplace:
- Are noise levels acceptable?
- Is the working area clean and a pleasant environment to work in?
- Is the temperature acceptable?
- Is there sufficient natural lighting and adequate ventilation?
- Does your workplace comply with all health and safety guidelines?