What Is Employee Stress Management? (With 7 Techniques)
Updated 28 August 2023
Employees may experience stress in the workplace when they have overwhelming workloads, too few advancement opportunities and ineffective ways to resolve conflicts with one another. A plan for managing stress amongst employees can involve various techniques, including the collection and implementation of feedback and the provision of good employee benefits. Understanding what stress management for employee is, can help you create a more productive and inviting work environment and remove obstacles to organisational success.
In this article, we explain what employee stress management is and provide seven techniques you can implement in the workplace.
What Is Employee Stress Management?
Employee stress management is the strategy of providing employees with an environment and resources that reduce pressures and tensions in the workplace. This process may involve discovering the cause of employees' stress and devising a plan to address the origin. Once you develop a plan, you can communicate it to your employees and train other supervisors and team leaders on how to implement the desired plan.
This management strategy can help a workplace remove or minimise the impact of the causes of stress, such as no opportunities for development or increased workloads. Workplaces with good stress management plans for employees tend to experience greater productivity. Employees can also maintain healthy relationships with their colleagues, act calmly during times of crisis and feel greater satisfaction with their jobs.
7 Techniques For Managing Stress Amongst Employees
Here are seven techniques for managing stress amongst employees:
1. Create a positive workplace culture
An effective technique you can implement is to create a positive workplace culture. You can begin this initiative by offering appreciation to all your employees. It may take some time to learn what your employees respond well to, as some may prefer words of affirmation, while others may want to receive small gifts as signs of gratitude. When you introduce a system of recognition and rewards into the workplace, you may discover that employees feel more motivated to fulfil their responsibilities. This system can also encourage peers to recognise and appreciate one another, which can further create a positive working environment.
Another element of creating a positive workplace culture is fostering healthy competition. Instead of having employees compete with one another, emphasise the importance of outperforming competing organisations. Employees can work together to achieve common goals and create prosperity for their shared organisation in the long term.
2. Collect feedback from surveys
Another technique for managing stress amongst employees is to collect feedback from surveys. Distribute these surveys on a regular basis, whether that is every month or every quarter. Create the surveys to include some standardised questions so that you can get a consensus on certain elements of the workplace. You may also include more open-ended questions and response spaces so that employees can address workplace factors that are of concern to them. Allow everyone in the organisation adequate time to provide thorough responses. You may choose to make specific surveys anonymous so that you can collect honest feedback.
The feedback you collect via surveys can be highly valuable when determining how to manage stress amongst staff members. You can learn what resources employees believe they are lacking so that you can understand what the company needs to provide them. You can also discover desired improvements to the organisational structure. Survey results may also reveal information about employees' perceptions of their own performance, their peers' performance and their professional goals. You can use the information you learn to create plans for accountability and professional development to increase satisfaction and reduce stress.
3. Implement good employee benefits
You can reduce stress levels amongst employees by implementing good employee benefits. For instance, paid holidays are a basic benefit that an organisation can consider introducing. When employees know they do not work on widely recognised holidays and still receive pay, they may work with less stress leading up to these days. Another benefit that a company can consider implementing is an employee discount programme. This kind of programme helps employees get home office equipment and other professional and personal essentials without paying full price, which they often appreciate greatly.
The organisation can also implement perks like a good work-life balance and flexible working hours. Creating a good work-life balance means letting employees only work on their assignments when they are on the schedule. Allow them to go home and live their personal lives without worrying about the work at the office. You can also allow for flexible working hours. Depending on the industry in which you work, flexible working hours may vary. For example, a marketing company may allow employees to work from home for a few days when the team does not meet with clients.
4. Emphasise the health and well-being of employees
Emphasising the physical health and mental well-being of employees can help them manage their stress levels. There are several ways to implement this technique. For example, you can invest in standing desks, yoga balls, stretching bands and desk treadmills so that employees can remain physically active during the workday. Encourage them to take walking breaks so that they can combat the negative effects that sitting for long periods can cause, like poor posture and back pain. You may also schedule weekly yoga sessions or virtual fitness sessions to encourage employees to remain active.
You can also introduce measures to encourage employees' mental health. Schedule monthly activities, like luncheons or trivia nights, outside of work. These activities give your employees the opportunity to socialise with and get to know one another in a different setting. This kind of bonding can help individuals learn to work together in the workplace and reduce the stress that they may otherwise experience.
5. Encourage self-management
Encourage employees to participate in self-management, which is the practice of controlling one's emotions, thoughts and behaviours in different scenarios. Greater self-management can improve work efficiency and overall performance, which can help employees experience less work-related stress. Employees who can manage their emotions, thoughts and behaviours may better understand their own weaknesses and strengths. They can learn more and motivate themselves, experiment with new processes and acknowledge their shortcomings without someone constantly distributing reminders. This also helps employees feel more competent and confident to complete their expected tasks and experience personal growth.
6. Refine conflict management processes
As a leader within an organisation, you can refine your conflict management processes and help other supervisors do so as well. Whenever a conflict arises between two employees, conduct one-on-one conversations so that you can hear the situation from different perspectives. Practice empathy with each party. Mediate a conversation between the two employees and help them find a common solution. When it comes to conflict management, it is best to keep the focus on reducing tension within the team.
7. Encourage realistic goal setting
Ensure that your employees know how to set realistic goals for themselves. Striving for goals that are unrealistic or unattainable can create feelings of frustration and stress, so it is important that your employees are working towards goals that they can achieve using their skill sets and available resources. Introduce the concept of SMART goals so that employees can track the progress of their accomplishments.
You may also evaluate the goals that you set for employees. Ensure that employees feel comfortable talking to you if they feel that a goal is beyond their capabilities. You can also encourage communication and collaboration to help make realistic goals even more manageable.
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