Employee stress is a common issue today. According to statistics, stress affects about one out of every four employees. This finding is really worrisome as stress is extremely harmful to our health. It negatively impacts our physical, mental as well as emotional well-being and when your employees aren’t healthy, your organization cannot be healthy. This is because your employees are the building blocks of your organization. Their health directly impacts the overall well-being of your organization. Now, let us discuss in detail how employee stress impacts the health of your organization. These impacts of employee stress will give you 5 reasons why you should help your employees de-stress.
1. Stressed employees exhibit lower productivity:
Stress is a big enemy of employee productivity. Your employees cannot work efficiently when they are stressed as stress hampers their ability to think properly. Their focus gets impaired and they cannot work well. According to a report presented by Health Advocate, stress costs businesses as much as $ 300 billion in lost productivity every year. So, we can certainly say that stressed employees exhibit lower productivity and I am sure, you’ll never wish to have an unproductive workforce. This gives you a big reason why you should work on helping your employees de-stress, for if you don’t, your workforce’s productivity will suffer.
2. Employee stress negatively impacts employee engagement:
Employee engagement is termed as an organization’s ladder to success. This is because an engaged workforce is productive, exhibits lower turnover, and dedicatedly works for your organization’s success. So, it is quite natural that you execute various employee engagement strategies in your organization. But, if your employees are stressed, your employee engagement strategies won’t become fruitful as stress hinders employee engagement. In Towers Watson’s Global Benefits Attitudes survey, more than half of the employees who claimed to be suffering from high-stress levels reported being disengaged at work. Thus, if you aspire to cultivate an engaged workforce, you should first help your employees de-stress.
3. Stressed employees exhibit low morale:
Employee morale is defined as the attitude your employees possess towards work and your organization. It determines how motivated, happy, and satisfied they feel at work. When your employees have a high morale i.e they are highly motivated and satisfied, they perform well. But, when they exhibit low morale, they don’t perform well, and stressed employees have low morale. This is simply because stress kills their motivation to work. This implies that to have a workforce with high morale, you should help your employees de-stress. Otherwise, stress will keep killing their morale.
4. Stressed employees commit more errors:
According to stress+health magazine stressed workers commit more errors at work, which leads to an increase in workplace accidents. This is simply because stress disturbs your employees’ focus on work and when they are not focussed, they commit errors. Further, even if your workplace doesn’t suffer from stress-induced accidents, it can suffer from stress-induced financial losses if your employees keep committing errors in their work. Not only this, it can take your employees, longer time to complete a project because of the errors committed due to stress. So, if you wish to prevent your employees from committing such errors, you should help them de-stress.
5. Stress leads to high employee absenteeism:
High employee absenteeism is undesirable for business organizations. This is because of the absence of a single employee impacts the productivity of an entire team. So, it is quite natural for you to wish for your employees to exhibit low absenteeism. But, if your employees are stressed, your aspiration cannot come true as stressed employees suffer from a lot of health troubles. This causes them to stay absent from work frequently. Thus, stress leads to high employee absenteeism.
So, these are the 5 major reasons why you should help your employees de-stress. Now, let us discuss some ways for you to help your employees with stress management.
How to help your employees de-stress:
1. Organize Stress Management Programs in the workplace:
This is one of the simplest ways through which you can help your employees de-stress. You can organize stress management programs in your organization. These programs will take your employees on the journey of stress management and they’ll learn various techniques by following which they can keep their stress levels in control. Meditation, Mindfulness, and breathing exercises are some examples of stress management techniques that are incorporated in stress management programs.
2. Conduct fun activities in the workplace every day:
Fun activities are great stress-relievers. When your employees engage in fun activities, they feel happy and forget all about their worries and stressors. As a result, their stress level drops down and they become their productive selves again. Moreover, having such fun sessions every day can help your employees get relieved from chronic stress. So, you should start organizing fun activities in your organization every day. You can make your employees play games together, watch stand up comedies and short funny videos during fun activity sessions.
3. Appreciate your employees for who they are and what they do:
Appreciation is a great way to help your employees experience stress-relief. When you appreciate your employees, they feel happier and happiness is an antidote to stress. So, to help your employees de-stress, you should start appreciating them. You should appreciate them for who they are and what they do. If they are helpful towards their colleagues, do make sure to appreciate them. If they complete a work target in time, appreciate them. This way, with continuous appreciation, you can keep your employees happy and their stress levels low.
4. Encourage your employees to take regular work breaks:
Many scientific studies have shown that the brain needs a break after working for some time. If it is not provided with a break, it becomes exhausted and stressed. So, to prevent employee stress, you should encourage your employees to take regular work breaks. For this, it is best to utilize the Pomodoro Technique, where you work dedicatedly for a period of 25 minutes and then take a break for 5 to 7 minutes. Thus, you should make your employees aware of the Pomodoro technique and also encourage them to utilize it everyday while working.
5. Give some flexibility to your employees:
If you exercise too much rigidity in your organization, your employees are at a higher risk of suffering from stress. This is because excessive rigidity and control make them feel suffocated. To prevent your employees from feeling suffocated by rigidity, you should give them some flexibility. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to allow them to work from home. No, not at all! There are many other ways in which you can give flexibility to your employees. For example, you can give them the opportunity to switch their workspace whenever they feel like or you can let them go to the terrace and work under the sun if they feel cold. So, these are two examples of ways in which you can give flexibility to your employees. But, these are not the only two, you can think and implement as many ways to offer flexibility to your employees, as you wish.
Stress negatively impacts the health of your employees and your organization. Lower employee productivity increased employee absenteeism, and loss of employee engagement are some of its side effects. It is because of these side-effects that it becomes crucial for you to help your employees de-stress and the above-mentioned ways will help you with the same.