Guest post by Hannah Pulham
Everyone has stress in their life, but in an economy where stretched finances can have very real effects, stress levels can increase and result in unhappy—and unproductive—workers. This in turn affects profitability and progression within a business.
Are your employees spending more workdays feeling tired, incompetent, frazzled and confused rather than productive, valued and alert? If you suspect the answer is yes, here’s what you can do about it.
Productivity in the workplace is more strongly linked to a positive environment than to monetary compensation. Reducing stress in the work environment is not about making sweeping changes to the environment, but starting small with the one thing you have complete control over: watching and keeping in check your own emotions.
There are many factors that play into a stressful environment for your employees—and you may be one of them. Your emotions are critical to those around you, so it is important you have a positive, cheerful attitude. If this is challenging for you, learn the signs of stress and begin to control your emotions. The better you are at controlling your own stress levels, the better people will feel around you.
As a business owner, there are several steps you can take in relieving stress and creating a positive and productive atmosphere.
Step one: Recognizing the signs of stress in your employees.
Some of the core issues of stress in a workplace are:
— Fear of getting overtime
— The pressures of meeting expectations
— Pressure to perform at certain achievement levels
— Fear of being let go from a job
— Fear of confrontation
Some signs of workplace stress are:
— A feeling of depression/anxiousness
— A loss of interest in daily tasks at work
— Problems with fatigue, sleeping and concentrating
— Headaches and nausea.
— Problems sitting still
— Avoiding daily tasks
Step two: Addressing your own personal health: physically, emotionally and financially.
You can start by making healthy choices in areas of your own life or developing a program to help employees make healthy choices.
— Exercising releases endorphins that may be causing negative emotions in daily responsibilities. By exercising you will have more energy to perform daily tasks. It will also sharpen your mind and relax your emotions. This can all be possible with only 30 minutes a day of exercising.
— Making good nutritional choices in meals can also have a positive impact in relieving stress. By making meals before work, you are able to see what kinds of nutrients are going into your body. You are also saving money and gaining control of what you eat. For more information on how to create healthy meals for lunch, visit www.myplate.gov .
— Sleep is critical in relieving stress. When a person is well rested their emotions are much more balanced, which in turn helps with productivity.
Step Three: Organizing stress and making a schedule
— Plan for more time in the morning, and leave for work 10-15 minutes earlier then you usually would to make sure that you arrive early.
— Plan regular breaks at work so that you can have time to relax and let your mind rest for a time. This will help prioritize your thought process and refresh ideas.
— When doing a project, break it up into smaller pieces so that the entire project does not feel so overwhelming.
— Be open to responsibility and compromise.
There are many obstacles in a working environment and it is important to remember to prioritize stressful issues. This will help in overcoming smaller tasks and in the end accomplishing large tasks. It is also important to ensure that your employees are able to perform their tasks with confidence.