It is National Stress Awareness week and during this time, we can’t help but focus on the one area that can be a cause of a lot of stress – work. After all, as per the data collected from ADP, 7 out of 10 Indian employees confess that they undergo stress at least once a week during working hours. As a manager and well-wisher of your team members, you can do your little bit to reduce this overwhelming feeling that can lead to dangerous consequences.
- Set clear and defined roles for team members
Often, employees get stressed out with a lack of defined roles. When there is no set expectation of what is required from the employee, it creates a stress point as he/she is unsure of which direction to move towards in the workflow process. They can also be at a loss as to how much to invest in a particular task or project. Sometimes the other team members are not willing to accept their part, creating a tense atmosphere. It is best to have clear roles with not only the individual but also the people he/she is collaborating with to avoid any friction or confusion. Do leave a space open for feedback as well to maintain the balance.
2. Plan work beforehand
While it is impossible to take account of ad hoc situations, most managers and senior people are aware of the workflow process, expected timelines and an estimation of how much time an output or project will entail. Take everything into consideration and create a realistic deadline for tasks. Speak to employees and senior staff and chalk out a plan that works well for both. Bringing in a structure helps in a seamless execution. Planning the month’s work can reduce stress and anxiety at the workplace.
3. Encourage a healthy social atmosphere
As much as we would like it, not everything is in one’s control. There are times when home and work pressures can mentally and emotionally bog one down. This is when a strong and comforting social atmosphere can help cushion the blow. As per the study, Social Support and Resilience to Stress’ published in Psychiatry, 2007, “Social support seems to moderate genetic and environmental vulnerabilities for mental illness, possibly by effects through other psychosocial factors, such as fostering effective coping strategies, and through effects on multiple neurobiological factors.” It can also help in getting a better perspective toward work and life. As a manager, you can encourage a healthy social atmosphere. Virtual get-togethers and team bonding sessions help to infuse a jovial atmosphere.
4. Inculcate the value of collaboration
Healthy competition is good, but often, it can turn into an ugly battleground. This not only creates a sense of animosity but also comes in the way of the end goal of the company. Instead of letting employees pit against each other, it is wise to inculcate the value of collaboration. When employees are working together towards a set goal, it lightens the mood and makes the entire process more enjoyable. This creates a memorable experience rather than a painful one. Make the team members understand the importance and perks of team bonding.
5. Explain the growth module to each employee
One of the common causes of stress at the workplace is the uncertainty of it all. In an overly challenging corporate world, many fear that they might lose their job or that they are not capable of doing a certain task. Sit down with employees and explain their growth chart as to how they can bring value to the company. Be honest and let them know the areas they need to work on and the ones that they already excel in. You do not have to wait for the end of the year appraisal to do so. In this way, the employee has a clear idea of the goodness they bring in and where they can strive harder.
6. Encourage a work-life balance
A work-life balance will not only help the employee but also the company. As per statistics from CompareCamp, 85% of companies that provided their employee work-life balance programs, noticed an increase in productivity. Having a well-rounded life enables the individual to bounce back better from the troubles and reduce stress levels. The employee will resume refreshed with more energy and vitality to do the task at hand. The ideal way to encourage a work-life balance is to have reasonable office timings. Delegate work equally with team members so that no one feels they are being treated unfairly.
7. Rope in the experts
If you sense any individual is undergoing severe stress, it is advisable to get them connected to a professional therapist. An employee might not be comfortable divulging personal details to somebody from the office. A professional would know how to recognise the symptoms and offer effective treatment. You can make them opt for online counselling that they can avail of from the comfort of their homes.
Ensuring a positive and collaborative atmosphere cannot magically make all the stress go away, but it can give your team members the ammunition to handle and deal with unfavourable situations.
Bouncbk is a mobile platform designed to help your employees measure and improve their emotional well-being. Email us at email@example.com to know more.