4 ways managers and HR professionals can help reduce workplace stress

High stress levels in the workplace can lead to employee health problems, loss of productivity (or employees for that matter) bullying, and even violence.

A work stress survey found that 83 percent of Americans are stressed by at least one thing at work. Low pay, an unreasonable workload, annoying co-workers, and commuting are among the top stressors.

As managers and HR professionals, it is our responsibility to work together and do what we can to minimize and mitigate employee stress whenever possible.

Although this is easier said than done, there are steps we can take.

Regularly talk about workplace stress

One of the easiest things we can do to combat stress in the office is to talk frequently about it.

We should ensure our employees know how to detect job stress—signs may include irritability, poor sleep, aggression, changes in appetite, and a loss of job satisfaction—and who to reach out to if they need help.

At a minimum, information about workplace stress should be communicated in a team meeting setting a few times a year. It’s also a good idea to ask employees during one-on-one meetings how their stress level is and if we can do anything to help them.

Offer training and development opportunities

Sad but true, a recent survey by APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence reported that only 36 percent of employees felt their organizations provided sufficient resources to help them manage stress.

To help employees reduce stress, we should offer a variety of training programs and resources. Here are a few examples:

I want to help my employees… Suggested solution
Prepare for a raise or promotion Professional development workshop; stretch assignment
Feel more prepared to tackle work Time management and prioritization workshop
Improve employee relations Team-building/emotional intelligence workshop
Cope with stress Stress management program

Re-evaluate benefits

For the employees stressed about low wages and their commute, you may be able to lighten their concerns by offering better benefits, perks, and discounts.

A few suggestions to consider include:

  • Adopt a work-from-home policy
  • Provide discounted public transit cards
  • Link performance to financial incentives
  • Start an employee assistance program (EAP)
  • Provide free or discounted gym memberships

Offering employees a reasonable amount of paid time off (and more importantly, encouraging them to use it) is another great way we can help ease employee stress.

Be good to ourselves

To be successful in our fight against workplace stress, we need to practice what we preach. This means eating and sleeping well, not agreeing to take on too much, creating healthy work-life barriers, and getting the support we need with our work and stressors.

Being a good role model to our employees will help build their trust and will show them it’s possible to be healthy, balanced and happy in the workplace.

Danielle Clark is a human resources manager with more than 10 years of HR and customer service experience in healthcare and retail organizations. Her work with Fortune 500 companies, in addition to a diverse professional and academic background, has trained Clark to be results-driven, people-focused and a thought-provoking leader. Her goal is to educate and inspire professionals to change their way of thinking. She is also an adjunct professor, active community volunteer, wife, mother and passionate lifelong learner.

Author: Danielle Clark

Dr. Danielle Clark is a witty heart-centered millennial. She wears many hats in this beautiful + crazy thing we call life. She is a proud wife, and cat, dog and human mama who works as a psychic medium, intuitive life coach, spiritual teacher and business professor. Dr. Danielle’s life work is focused on helping people heal from self-judgement, trauma and grief so that they can release their suffering and tap into the highest version of themselves. Danielle’s been blessed to do that for herself and that’s why she’s made it her mission to pass along her wisdom to others. Danielle is from just north of Boston. She currently lives in the Tampa Bay area. She believes with a little love, grace and humor anything is possible. She invites you to join her blog Onwards at drdanielleclark.com and to connect with her on social media.

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