Engaged and productive employees were always the foundation all successful companies were built upon. Unfortunately, all the good work made by managers and HR departments to set up such foundations can be easily undermined by workplace stress that, according to a recent survey, is being experienced by as much as 94% of all American workers.
The job of a good manager would be to defuse these stressful situations before they blow up into full-scale workplace conflicts, drops in productivity, and all other situations where employees’ wellbeing could be damaged in any form or capacity.
Let us take a look at a couple of neat ways this can be pulled off.
Take the meetings outside
Physical activity, natural sunlight, and a casual outside environment can do quite a lot of heavy lifting in making the otherwise cramped and claustrophobic meetings far more laid back and relaxed. So, take your employees for a 20-minute outside hike where they will hopefully feel more relaxed to address some more sensitive topics, roadblocks, or even interpersonal issues. Keep in mind, though, that even though such meetings occur in a more laid-back environment they still need to maintain a certain level of focus and productivity. So plan ahead all the objectives and coaching strategies you want to cover.
Provide sufficient recovery time
Stress and burnout don’t have to be a result of some deeply rooted or interpersonal issues. Sometimes, your employees just need to take a good break to clear their heads before they are able to kick back into high gear. Do your best to create a workflow that will give your employees the freedom to tackle their tasks and their own pace and take frequent breaks when they start feeling strained. Organizing the tasks based on their urgency, putting the focus on the activities that are important for the overall workflow, and making second-tier assignments mutually independent should give you enough leeway to do that.
Make wellbeing a part of the company culture
Your goal should be to create a culture that will use the strengths of your workers and provide them with adequate mental, social and motivational stimuli while eliminating taxing job demands, excessive workload, and toxic management practices. All these demands require deep changes in the company culture and infrastructure, so you are advised to steer your efforts aimed at eliminating employee burnout with the help of a third-party consulting agency. On the other hand, building these qualities into the very core of your company will make all future well-being initiatives countless times easier.
Leverage mental health and at-home days
The periods of heightened business activity and not even the well-thought-out well-being actions won’t be able to completely defuse stressful situations and save your employees from burnout. Intervals like these are a perfect time to hit the ‘pause’ button and reward employees with a visit to the spa or simply a day off with the family. If the amount of workload doesn’t allow such a commodity, you can create a similar effect by allowing them to work one day of the week from the home. Even though they will still need to perform their tasks, any opportunity to escape the office bustle can be of tremendous help.
Encourage social interactions
Friendly social interactions can mitigate even the most stressful workplace situations. Try then to encourage such bonds and turn your staff from co-workers to friends. So, put a higher focus on team-building events, friendly Fridays, and similar assets you can use to bring your employees closer together. You can help these efforts if you populate the offices with soccer tables, dartboards, coffee corners, and similar things that invite people to come in and freely interact with their fellow employees. This is an excellent way to let the workers release built-up tension without engaging in real-life, personal conflicts.
We hope these few suggestions gave you a general idea about the strategies you can use to save your workers from stress and burnout, and turn them into a strong collective able to deal with even the most challenging situations awaiting them down the road. The success of one company depends on countless different factors. Engaged, happy, and productive employees are at the very core of all these elements. Don’t allow these foundations to crack under any sort of pressure.