The employee productivity level can make or break an organization. Perhaps the greatest challenge that employees face is the inevitable stress that they will encounter while on the job. Completing a challenging project by deadline or taking on new roles are common issues that workers in every industry will face at some point. Knowing how to deal with pressure and stress is the key to greater productivity.
How Does Stress Harm Employees?
It should first be noted that a degree of stress is normal and perfectly healthy. It gives an individual the incentive to push forward and get things done. However, like salt, it is only good in small amounts, and can become dangerous when excessively present. To reduce stress in the workplace you must first understand its nature, where it comes from. Many employees will be under stress due to factors that occur outside the workplace, such as marital problems or other familial issues. There isn’t much employers can do about this.
Sources of workplace stress include insufficient staffing, low salaries and expectations which are not clear. Too many companies expect their employees to work long hours at low pay with few benefits. Even worse, employees may be confused about what they’re supposed to be doing due to a failure of managers to thoroughly explain the task. These are some of the core reasons why employees have high stress levels and why a lot of them quit.
Racing To The Bottom Doesn’t Help
Many companies are in a “race to the bottom.” This means that they are primarily concerned with cutting their costs as much as possible to remain competitive and to do so they hire employees who will accept the lowest wages and least desirable work conditions. This is a penny wise but pound foolish strategy that will not work over the long term. The top candidates who are highly skilled and educated will expect to be paid well with lots of benefits, and will demand clarity and respect from those they work for.
Companies that race to the bottom will inevitably find themselves in a position where they are experiencing a high turnover, with few employees lasting longer than a year or two. Their competitors who emphasize quality over quantity will win because they will pay fair wages which will attract highly skilled employees who will boost their bottom line. The prices of their products or services may be higher, but customers will pay because they know it’s worth it.
How To Reduce Employee Stress
The first step is to pay your employees what they’re worth. Henry Ford, one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time, recognized that he must pay his employees enough to afford the cars they manufactured on his behalf. Managers must also know how to clearly explain tasks in a way that employees can understand. They should never be confused about what they have to do. Finally, make sure you have sufficient staff to complete projects so that too much work isn’t placed on the shoulders of one individual.