Stress is an inevitable part of the workplace. However, sometimes your employees are going to have days that are more than a reasonable person can handle.
Through seasons where deadlines pile up, the pressure might have been a motivating factor. But it can also lead to employees becoming disaffected and apathetic, or worse, depressed and detrimentally anxious.
In this article, we’ll outline some ideas for building a proactive stress management program for your employees.
Understand the Need for Stress Management Training
Though stress may be a natural part of working life, it can have real consequences for the health of your team. Stress left unattended can lead to health problems like headaches, digestive issues, poor sleep, and a weakened immune system. These can have long-term effects on the lives of the people that are important to the success of your business.
Excessive stress can contribute to related illnesses, lower productivity, higher healthcare costs and absenteeism, which can cost companies up to $300 billion a year. Implementing stress management training can even help with turnover rates, as stress is one of the principal reasons for employees leaving a job.
Get to Know Your Employees
Understanding that stress management is needed is a great first step, but putting it into action requires some additional work. The training you build for your employees needs to be informed by the unique factors that play into their stress.
Keep lines of communication open. Your employees surely have to balance challenging work days and the problems that inherently occur in life. It’s important they feel comfortable coming to you when they need help.
Surveys can shed needed light as well. Send out an anonymous survey specifically requesting feedback on what is causing stress in the workplace. It is also a good idea to review absence records and see if there is a pattern.
Understanding what drives your employees can allow you to create a training course that brings to mind emotions. If an image or a text is meaningful to them on a deeper level, they will remember it longer. That will help reinforce the content as they go through stressful situations in the future.
Prepare the Ground
Now that you know what motivates and disheartens your employees, you are ready to move forward with content. But, you won’t make a real impact by just putting out a course and mandating it be taken.
Hold a few kick-off events. Focus on topics that address issues with stress, and offer concrete ways for employees to communicate with you about stress. Building awareness and understanding will help adjust the culture of your company. Employees won’t hide their problems and their efforts to get better.
Don’t be too serious! Design your training course to be useful, but keep it lighthearted. Try to keep your employees engaged by using a little humor.
Organize the Training
If you’ve never built training like this before, it’s beneficial to bring in an expert to guide you through the process. A specialist with a psychology background can analyze the data you’ve collected from surveys and conversations with employees. They can also come up with training content that addresses the issues at hand.
Together, you can organize a training that takes employee schedules into account. Create an interactive course that is accessible anytime, anywhere – based on your employees’ needs.
An expert can also suggest solutions to reduce stress in the office. This can involve making adjustments to interdepartmental workflow or implementing a telecommuting work policy. Not only will giving your employees the ability to work remotely help them feel more relaxed, it may even boost their productivity by as much as 13 percent.
Reap the Benefits of the Training
Stress management training will give your employees the tools to create more value for your customers and your shareholders. Studies on programs such as this showed increased revenue by as much as 23%, decreased absences by 24% and reduced healthcare costs by $5,000!
Reducing stress in your workforce has a wide variety of benefits, including improved decision making, increased productivity and better interpersonal connections both at work and at home.
Stressed out employees are a liability. By building a culture that supports your workers, you will build a brand that attracts customers and helps recruit new employees.
Giving your employees a voice and being their best advocate is what stress management is all about. Be proactive and see the improvement stress management training can make for your team.