Reducing workplace stress is vital for employee safety, retention, production
While employers try to ensure their employees are provided a safe workplace by reducing the chances of accidents and injuries, it's important not to overlook employee stress.
Too much stress or too many responsibilities can greatly increase employees’ chances of not only burnout, but also making costly mistakes. A worse-case scenario is that if they are engaged in more labor-intensive occupations, too much stress can lead to accidents.
Think your employees aren't stressed? A recent study by Mental Health America, "Mind the Workplace," found that:
- 81% of employees think that job stress affects their relationships with family and friends, at least sometimes.
- 63% think that their workplace is unhelpful or hostile such that they want to work alone.
- 66% don't trust their co-workers or team to support their work activities.
- 17% believe that their company appropriately deals with employees who don't do their job.
A high stress work environment can lead to a number of problems:
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Other medical issues
- Worsened productivity
- Trouble concentrating
- Making mistakes
- Causing accidents
- Absenteeism and presenteeism.
What you can do
All of the above can have a detrimental effect on your workplace and employee health, as stress can lead to a myriad of health issues. But there things employers can do to help reduce workplace stress.
- Recognize your workers for a job well done.
- Be supportive of workers experiencing hard times, like paid time off and assistance with their workload.
- Make sure that management treats everyone fairly and does not show favoritism.
- Set realistic, clear goals and expectations of your staff. And hold everyone accountable for their work.
- Management should lead by example, meaning that they should display the same work ethic that they expect of their staff.
- Promote a safe work environment and have supervisors and management reinforce your commitment to safety.
- Encourage mindfulness in your team.
- Offer flexible work schedules.
- Encourage your employees to get up and move regularly.
- Provide an employee assistance plan as part of your benefits package.