While a degree of workplace stress is expected in any working environment, excessive amounts can contribute to a number of problems among employees, ultimately impacting their productivity. Workers who are routinely under tremendous amounts of stress will lose satisfaction with their jobs and a link has been found between high stress levels and turnover rate. Given the difficulty involved with recruiting top level workers, employee retention, turnover rates and high stress are all factors that employers should address. Here are some ways in which it can be done.
Maintain An Orderly Work Environment
Employees should always work in an organized environment. This is true irrespective of the industry in which you operate your business. A cluttered workplace will not only raise the stress levels of workers, but also increases the chances of workplace accidents and the compensation claims that accompany them. Whatever an employee needs, whether it is specific documents or tools, they should be able to find it with ease.
As an employer, you should always look for ways to keep the work environment structured and clean. This includes both digital files on computers as well as physical objects. Get rid of any office supplies which aren’t absolutely necessary.
Make It Easier to Commute To Work
While it isn’t possible for employers to regulate the traffic patterns and congestion within the cities where they operate, there are ways to make it less stressful for employees to get to work. One way is to offer flexible scheduling so that employees can arrive at a time that is more convenient for them. Doing this will lower their stress levels as they won’t be locked into a specific schedule. It will then be easier for them to take care of other responsibilities without scheduling conflicts. Due to advances in technology, it may even be possible for some workers to work from home on certain days.
Make Improvements Rather Than Changes
People are resistant to change, because change creates stress. Companies often make unnecessary changes to fix things that aren’t broken, while failing to address things that should be improved. This naturally creates stress and even frustration among workers. Rather than making changes employers should instead focus on making improvements. Elicit feedback from workers regarding things they want to have improved, and then respond accordingly. Doing so will build goodwill among employees because it shows the heads of the company are listening to them and this will strengthen loyalty while boosting productivity. People may be resistant to change but everyone loves improvement.
Set Realistic Expectations
It is important for employers to challenge their employees, but the challenges should be realistic. The best environments are those where employers regularly communicate with employees and monitor their progress. This naturally reduces stress while enhancing performance because employees know where they stand. Challenging employees by giving them realistic goals to achieve takes skill, intuition and a keen eye. If the challenges are too easy employees will become bored, but challenges or expectations which are too high can lead to increase stress. All things considered, balance is the key to success.