Work stress management is one of the most important things for any organisation to get right. Stress at work can take a toll on an employee’s physical and mental health. And that can go on to impact their performance and harm their relationships with their colleagues. Managing stress at work and creating a supportive work environment can help keep your workers happy and your business thriving.
In this article, we’ll explain how you can help your employees manage work related stress, outline some of the signs of stress to look out for, and show how we at Feaniks can help you keep your workers happy and healthy.
Signs of stress at work
According to Champion Health, 76% of workers surveyed reported moderate or high levels of stress. Of these, 33% said that stress impacted their productivity. With numbers like these, it’s a safe bet that some of your employees will be feeling the pressure from time to time.
Organisations, then, need to make sure they can recognise the signs of work-related stress. You can’t solve a problem until you know that it’s there. And employees can sometimes feel reluctant to admit that they’re struggling.
Common signs of workplace stress include:
- High levels of lateness or even absence
- Lower motivation or concentration
- Missing deadlines and making mistakes
- Physical symptoms like headaches, fatigue and lack of sleep
Managers and HR personnel need to keep an eye out for these signs. Crucially, they also need to remember that issues with performance can often be due to stress. After all, the last thing that a stressed out worker needs is more pressure to deliver.
How to manage stress at work
While you of course need to make sure that your employees are doing their jobs to a high standard, you also need to keep in mind that piling on the pressure can make the problem worse.
To that end, here are some practical tips on how to manage stress at work.
- Promote a supportive work environment
As is often the case, one of the most important things to keep in mind when managing stress at work is culture. Every organisation has a culture, and the most successful ones have cultures that prioritise open communication, realistic and clear expectations, and wellbeing.
Embracing collaborative working can be a great way to bring your workers closer together. Similarly, providing your employees with regular feedback sessions and check-ins can help identify sources of stress early on.
- Embrace flexible work
One of the biggest stories in the world of work in recent years has been the rise of flexible working. From working from home to flexible hours and hybrid working arrangements, the workplace has been transformed across a staggeringly wide range of sectors.
Some employers might try to fight this. But a better approach is to embrace the opportunities provided by flexible work. Letting your workers adjust their schedules to better fit their personal lives can help them maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Doing this also helps communicate to your employees that they are valued. This in turn will help them feel more able to raise issues if and when they arise.
- Get managers on board
Employee collaboration and top-down buy-in are important when it comes to managing stress at work. But you also need to make sure that managers and HR recognise the importance of managing work-related stress.
Remember: keeping managers engaged in workers’ wellbeing makes them far more able to identify issues early on, and helps keep the culture in your organisation healthy.
- Promote physical wellbeing
Finally, you should remember the importance of physical health to mental health.
Organisations including the NHS recognise that, while physical exercise isn’t a cure-all for stress, it can help those who are suffering from stress reduce the emotional intensity of their experience.
And, once the emotional intensity comes down, it’s a lot easier to address the underlying issues and find productive ways for each individual to manage work stress.
While you of course shouldn’t lecture your workers on their diet or lifestyle choices, your organisation can benefit from providing them opportunities to stay healthy. Consider offering things like company gym memberships, on-site exercise facilities and healthy activities.
How to get signed off work with stress
Still, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can eliminate stress from your organisation entirely. This article is about managing workplace stress, after all – not avoiding it entirely.
Mental health is complicated, and the demands of business in any sector can make some level of stress unavoidable. Rather than running from this, you should make sure that your workers know that there are options to support them when they need them.
As is so often the case, the most important thing to keep in mind here is communication. Workers should know that they can openly admit to suffering from stress.
For best results, your workplace should clearly communicate what routes your employees can take if they start to feel that the pressure is getting a bit too much. You might require documentation from a doctor or mental health professional, for instance.
Again, the key is to make sure that these procedures are clear and transparent.
How Feaniks supports work stress
Here at Feaniks, we understand the importance of managing workplace stress.
To that end, we make sure that our training is holistic and human – we put compassion, communication and collaboration at the heart of our learning, and encourage regular updates between employees and managers, to provide ample opportunities for workers to raise concerns.
Our online platform offers a wealth of options for customisation, to help provide training that fits both your organisation and your individual workers. Perhaps most important, we encourage organisations to provide space for employees and managers to discuss their progress with management. When we cover important topics like safeguarding adults or nutrition and hydration, for example, we remind learners to take care of themselves too.
Managing workplace stress is not only prudent for organisations, but ethical too. Recognising the signs of stress and creating a supportive environment are crucial to both business success and employee wellbeing. If you’re interested in workplace training that can help your organisation manage stress at work, why not explore our site?