HR Strategy: Managing Stress in the Workplace

Stress doesn’t only target susceptible individuals – high-levels of office stress lower team morale overall. Indeed, stress is as contagious – from managers to new hires, millennials to baby boomers, no one is immune from its reach.

With this in mind, certain individuals are better at handling stress than others. In fact, certain roles are simply not suited to certain individuals as they may struggle with the stress associated with the work. Ensuring that an employee suits a role by doing a job fit assessment enables managers with this knowledge in the pre-employment screening.

There are numerous ways managers can mitigate its more harmful effects in a work environment.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Although certain schedules may not work, allowing some flexibility in an employee’s schedule may relieve a great deal of stress. For example, some people feel more efficient in the evening and therefore won’t flourish with an early start. Similarly, some staff may not even need to work in the office to fulfil their roles.

Show Empathy

Many employees face a multitude of pressures that extend beyond their careers. As a result, they may not always perform to the best of their abilities and they may appear to struggle; however, it is important to note what they are going through and to take the time to understand where they are coming from.

Wellness Programs

While it’s pertinent to address issues as they arise, managing stress before it becomes an issue even more important. Wellness programs include myriad strategies to promote mental health among staff and combat toxic stress. These programs may include a gym membership, meditation, therapy, dance classes, massages and more.

Address Issues Right Away

Some issues are not worth bringing attention to, and doing so may cause unnecessary drama within the office. On the other hand, ignoring problems between staff or management may have catastrophic consequences. As a matter of fact, allowing disputes between employees to fester could create widespread toxicity. Although an issue may begin between two parties, it may lead to said parties creating alliances with ample hostility.

Prioritize Time Management

Staff tend to feel overwhelmed when they feel like things are out of their control. Whether that includes their daily goals, targets or projects when they feel they cannot actively control their outcomes they begin to panic. As a result, employees who feel they cannot reach their goals in a set time tend to break down. A good way to mitigate this crisis is to enforce a strong method of organization in the workplace. In addition, managers should consistently check in with staff to ensure that they are on track.