Managing Workplace Stress for Happy Employees

Sean Dailey, Ytel |  

Any time you assemble a team of people to work together, attitudes tend to be contagious. Consider a sports team on a long winning streak. The players and coaches just seem to feel like that cannot lose. That attitude enhances performance, making even significant adversity seem minor.

Whether you are a captain of industry or a proactive manager, consider these methods for reducing workplace stress and help your team be the go-getters they truly are.

Business owners and managers should go to great lengths to instill a positive team spirit. Reducing stress and maintaining a productive workforce go hand in hand. Whether you are a captain of a team or a proactive manager, consider these methods for reducing workplace stress and help your team be the go-getters they truly are.

Sometimes Less Is More

Consider the business model of a food warehouse. Workers put in a tough eight hours stacking pallets and loading trucks. Managers would then pressure newer employees to work another 2-4 hours. Needless to say, these disgruntled and tired warehouse workers were far less productive than during their regular shift, even though they were paid time and a half. Tired, unhappy workers are stressed workers. Keep tabs on workplace fatigue and call time out when people need rest.

Double Duty Is A Don’t

In theory, multi-tasking seems like a way to improve productivity. That is rarely the case. Not being fully focused on a task often means it does not get the full attention it deserves. That leaves team members feeling like that are underachieving and stressed. In reality, they would feel and do better one task at a time. Focus works.

Schedule Regular Roundtable Discussions

One of the keys to developing a close-knit team is allowing all voices to be heard. Those that are unhappy with assignments, protocols and other company structures often feel the added stress of being marginalized. By holding regularly scheduled roundtable discussions, you can encourage all voices to be heard. Even if there are no immediate solutions to employees concerns, knowing they have been heard makes them feel valued and takes some of the weight off their shoulders.

Suggestions Matter

As a business leader, you most likely have a good feel about various employee states of mind. Some come in happy every day. Other team members seem pressured and distracted. That may give you pause to airing workplace issues out in an open forum like a roundtable discussion. You may want to test the waters first by putting out a suggestion box to take the team’s stress temperature. An informed business leader can make informed decisions about how to reduce workplace stress.

Flexible Work Environments

The ability to complete more and more tasks online has opened the door for employees to work off-site. Millennials have particularly embraced a professional lifestyle that allows the work from home option. While not every team member will be productive this way, a designated number of work-from-home hours can help foster employee confidence.

Flexible Hours 

Another approach to lowering workplace stress is to create a flexible schedule for your team. In some industries, employees keep their own hours as long as a set number of assignments are completed at a high level and on time. That, of course, requires a very proactive team. But beyond full flexibility, adjusting work hours to avoid heavy drive-times or schedule weeks that are four 10-hour days rather than five 8-hour shifts opens up long weekends. That can be a huge stress reducer.

Have Fun

There’s a natural instinct to hunker down and push through times of high volume and shortened deadlines. You may recall the old saying: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” In theory, that makes sense.

But when your team gets overrun with work, even the toughest need to blow off steam. Consider shifting gears on a Friday afternoon and doing something out of the ordinary. Maybe hire a karaoke DJ to come in after lunch and let the team turn off the monitors and have some fun. It doesn’t have to be a clever as a karaoke session, just take time to have fun as a group and enjoy each other’s company. Fun can be a cure for stress.
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About The Author

Sean Dailey, Ytel

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Sean leads the People, Culture, and Partnership efforts at Ytel. After almost 5 years of agency recruiting, Sean decided to move into an internal recruiting role, where he could have more of a direct effect on growth and people’s lives That’s when he met Ytel and the rest is history. Sean is a huge believer in culture, and puts an emphasis on people and building relationships.

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