60% of employees suffer from work stress 1 . As a business owner or employee supervisor, you likely have your share of work stress.
Pressure is a natural part of a person’s personal and professional life, but it is provided that it is within reasonable limits, otherwise it will turn into a psychological obstacle, and it will have dire effects on the morale and productivity of employees. It can also lead to more absenteeism and increased employee dropout from the company.
Never ignore signs of stress and work stress. As a manager and supervisor of employees, you have a responsibility for the health and safety of your employees, including mental health. This article will help you monitor the signs of work stress among employees, its repercussions, and how to reduce it.
The repercussions of work pressure on employees
It is true that work pressure has become the rule in most people’s professional life, but that does not mean that you ignore it, as there are serious consequences for work pressure on you first, as well as on employee productivity and mental and physical health. Here are some of those repercussions:
- Productivity : The work pressure leads to a decrease in the productivity of the employees. Research has shown 2 that 57% of employees who suffer frompressurework feeltheyless productive and less interactive and involved inwork.
- Quality of work : The negative repercussions of work stress will not depend on productivity, but rather on the quality of work provided by your employees. Because the chronic feeling of work pressure often leads to rushing to work, frequent mistakes, and poor concentration, and these are all factors that will weaken the quality of work in the end. Some studies 3 show that more than a quarter of people who struggle with work stress report that the quality of their work has decreased.
- Work environment : Chronic work stress may make employees nervous, and this may lead to quarrels and disputes among team members, and create an unsound work environment. This will ultimately reflect negatively on team spirit and morale.
- Resignation of employees : In one of the 3 surveys , more than half of the respondents admitted that they are looking for a new job when they feel that the work pressure is too much, and even 25% of them said that they have already left a job due to work pressure.
You should do your best to reduce the work pressure on your employees, or even eliminate it if you can, as this will lead to an improvement in their morale and an increase in their productivity and performance.
In the next paragraph we’ll talk about how to handle and manage work stress.
How to deal with work pressure on your employees
1. Identify the sources of stress and treat it
The first step in dealing with work stress is to identify its sources and causes. You can hire a human resources expert or mental health counselor, or you can do it yourself.
For example, you can download this questionnaire (in English) and distribute it to your employees to find out if employees are under stress, and to understand the possible causes. This survey will help you identify sources of work stress your employees are experiencing so that you can design a plan to address or mitigate it.
If you find that your employees are suffering from work pressure, it is important to look for solutions to alleviate it, here are some questions that can help you with that:
- Is there a way to remove or relieve stress?
- If not, what support can be provided to employees to help them deal with stress?
- What resources are needed / available to help with this?
- Are there human resources policies to cope with work pressure?
- Has employee productivity been affected by work pressure?
2. Maybe you is the problem
I hate to tell you this, but if your employees are chronically and acutely stressed out, you are probably one of the reasons for it.
Research 4 has linked chronic stress from daily interactions with a harsh and bad boss to an increased risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, sleep problems, anxiety, and can lead to many unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking.
Review yourself, and see how you treat your employees. Are you nervous and irritable? Are you a perfectionist who wants everything to be perfect? Do you give employees fair wages? Ask yourself questions like these. It is better to ask your employees, and if you see that your employees are afraid to speak out and flirt with you, the problem is definitely coming from you.
Treat your employees well, do not burden them with what they have no capacity for, and appreciate their circumstances, and if someone makes a mistake, deal with him calmly, and make them feel safe in the job, some managers deliberately intimidate their employees, and seek to make them feel that they can be dispensed with at any moment, and this is wrong, because that puts them Under terrible stress, it will ultimately affect their mental and physical health, and impair their productivity and performance.
3. Be fair
Be fair with your employees, whether in terms of wages or promotions and bonuses, you should set clear standards for how employees are promoted, and the increase in wages, because the feeling of injustice and injustice will turn into chronic pressure on the employee.
4. Appreciate their efforts
Your employees are making every effort to make your project a success, and achieve your vision and mission, and they may make great sacrifices for that. Do not skimp on them with thanks and appreciation, it is important that you appreciate their efforts and sacrifices, and thank them for them, as this will raise their spirits and relieve them, even if part of the work pressure.
5. Encourage workplace communication
When communication channels are open in the workplace, whether between employees and managers, or between employees each other, this will relieve them of a lot of pressure. Sometimes all that a person needs is a listening ear to hear and appreciate what he is going through, so a few minutes of talking with a sympathetic colleague may have a magical effect on the employee’s psyche.
It is important to provide an open work environment, and encourage communication between you and your employees, or between employees each other, if you see your employees talking to each other during working hours, this is not necessarily a bad thing, especially in times of increased work pressure, give them space and time to communicate with each other. Between them, that will charge their energy and relieve the pressure on them, but in return, this does not mean that they spend the whole day chatting, you have to manage work hours intelligently, so do not cut communication between them, and do not open it all open.
6. Respect work hours
This is very important, especially in the case of remote employees , some employers think that just because the employee works from his home, he will be available for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and he is expected to respond to his calls immediately, day or night, and within any time.
In one of the 4 surveys , 84% of respondents who struggle with work stress said that simply receiving a text message or email from their bosses outside of work hours increases the level of stress they feel.
Try to take into account the personal life of your employees, if they work remotely, do not expect them to answer your calls except at the agreed times, and if they work from the company’s headquarters, avoid contacting them outside working hours.
7. Work shifts should be reasonable
Long and tedious work shifts will drain employees and exhaust them psychologically and physically. And lead to an imbalance between personal and professional life, and all this increases work pressure on employees.
Try not to exceed 8 hours of work shifts per day, and make sure that they take adequate rest, especially if the nature of the work calls for focus or physical effort. Encourage employees to take short and regular breaks. Allow them to take a five-minute walk, or drink a cup of tea, as this will relax their nerves and charge their energy. It raises morale, improves productivity, and reduces the risk of injuries at work.
8. Do not charge the employee with what he cannot do
It is important to challenge your employees’ capabilities and raise the quality and performance ceiling, as this will help them develop their skills, develop themselves, and advance their career path. It will also contribute to the company’s success and growth.
But this does not mean that you endure what they cannot do, and that you ask them to work unrealistic hours, or to do work that they are unable to accomplish. That will create a lot of pressure on the employees.
Give employees the option to ask for a time limit when they feel the work assigned to them is beyond their capacity. This will help set healthy standards to make work smarter, not more difficult.
9. Business scheduling in a descending manner
The tasks that require a lot of effort, and lead to increased work pressure and stress on employees are sometimes inevitable. Therefore, classify the daily tasks of the employees in descending order from the most difficult to the easiest, then design the daily work schedule so that the employees start with the exhausting and difficult tasks in the morning, because they are the most active in the morning, whether mentally or physically, and as the day progresses, exhaustion and fatigue infiltrate them, Then they can work on less difficult tasks.
10. Strengthen team bonds
Employees who understand each other, coexist with intimacy, and work in a cooperative work environment are less susceptible to work stress and are better able to deal with it.
One of the tasks entrusted to you as a president of the company or a manager of the work team is to strengthen the relationships and bonds between the members of the work team.
- Give employees a space to communicate and chat at the workplace
- Organize entertainment and outreach activities outside the workplace
- Encourage them to work collaboratively on projects to break their isolation in the workplace
- If some of your employees work remotely, try to find solutions to alleviate their isolation and loneliness .
11. Remote employment
Remote employment is the future , and sooner or later you should rely on it, even partially in your company, and perhaps the high work pressure of your employees may be the appropriate opportunity to consider this option and try it, as remote work has proven that it has many benefits for the employee, as it helps him On the balance between his personal and professional life, and relieves him of many of the pressures associated with the daily commuting to the workplace, and on top of all this, it makes the employee more productive.
Offer to employees who are under a lot of stress to work from home for a temporary period, or two days a week, and you will likely notice that they are getting better.
12. Solve conflicts between employees in a positive way
The outbreak of disputes between employees in the workplace is a natural thing, but it weakens the team spirit, and it can spread hatred and grudge among them, and this may enter them into unproductive personal conflicts, electrify the work environment and make it a source of pressure and anxiety rather than a source of inspiration and motivation.
As the president of the company or the manager of the work team, you are responsible for providing a healthy work environment for your employees, so you have to deal with disputes among your employees early, and do not let them fester so as not to turn into an enmity that will not serve the interest of your company.
13. Involve employees in business decisions that matter to them
Some companies do not allow their employees to participate in the decision-making process, and all their decisions, whether small or big, come from the top, and employees are not allowed to voice their opinions about them even if they are related to them. This mindset in management makes employees feel powerless. This can be one of the main sources of stress and work pressure.
Give your employees the opportunity to voice their opinions, especially on decisions and aspects that directly affect them. This will make them feel appreciated, that they are not just tools in the company, and it gives them even a small amount of control over their careers, and this will make them less vulnerable to the risks of work pressure.
14. Staff should be provided with the resources and tools necessary to accomplish their tasks
When the job requirements do not match the employee’s capabilities, resources and tools available to him, this will make him feel helpless, and it will be a constant source of pressure on him. Often times, this pressure can be alleviated by providing the employee with the necessary tools and training to perform the tasks assigned to him.
15. Avoid setting unrealistic deadlines
Some employers intentionally set unrealistic deadlines to expedite employees to speed up work.
It is natural to urge your employees to complete projects quickly, but if you rush your employees to every project, and establish in themselves a chronic feeling that they are always behind schedule, then they will tire in the end, it is not possible for a person to live his whole life in a race.
Make sure that the deadlines are realistic, and do not rush them except when necessary, and if there are a lot of projects, and it was not possible to complete them all by your employees on time, then this may be an opportunity to hire new employees, but if the time pressure is temporary, then not Don’t hire a freelance or remote employee temporarily until the pressure on the company eases.
16. Be clear about your expectations
A survey 5 of more than 2,000 people found that 31% of employees say unclear expectations of their supervisors is the number one source of work stress.
Your employees cannot read your thoughts, you should be clear with them, every employee should know what is required of him and the role he should play, whether through direct meeting with them, or by providing them with written documents that clarify what you expect from them.
17. Provide an appropriate work environment
It is important that the work environment is comfortable, free from distractions and hassles. Whether it is material, such as excessive heat or cold, or poor lighting in work offices, or psychological, such as noise and unhealthy relationships in the workplace.
Talk to your employees about the work environment. Ask them about distractions and annoyances, and do they have ideas for improving their work environment. This will help you to make the work environment comfortable and stimulating for production, and the employees will feel that they are in control of their work environment, and this will relieve the work pressure on them.
18. Do not convert your workplace into military barracks
The workplace should be a fertile environment for creativity and innovation, and this can only happen in a healthy and stimulating work environment.
Do not turn the workplace into a military barracks, as this will put the employees under severe pressure, and it will kill creativity and initiative in the company. Your relationship with your employees should be based on mutual respect, and you should make your effort to transform the workplace into a comfortable environment for the employee so that he can bring out his best potential.
19. Avoid micromanaging
Give your employees a space of freedom to accomplish the tasks assigned to them in the way that suits them. Learn to manage your team with results, not detailed directions.
Specify for each employee what you expect from him, the tasks that he must accomplish, the date of delivery, then let him work, and account for the results and performance, this is what really matters, because your customers do not care how the work was done, all that matters to them is that the work is done on time and with quality Required.
20. Help your employees grow and observe their dreams and aspirations
It is important to know that your employees have dreams and aspirations, and that they want to grow and advance in their careers. In the event that they feel that the growth opportunities in your company are non-existent, and that the doors to career progress are blocked in front of them, this will frustrate and despair them, and one of two things will happen, either they leave your company to search for better opportunities elsewhere, or if they remain in the company, they will work without an incentive and no goal, Working with you will become a constant source of stress.
Help your employees grow, observe their dreams and ambitions, open doors for career advancement, reward the creative and hardworking, and let them know that your company provides them with an opportunity to rise and advance.
21. Not looking for perfection
It is important to raise the ceiling of ambitions and set high standards for employees, but this does not mean that you are a perfectionist, your employees are not perfect, nor are you, perfection is God Almighty alone.
If you are perfectionist in everything, you will not get anything done and will exhaust yourself and your employees, instead, ask your employees to put their best efforts into the work and try to get the work out as best as possible.