Posted by: thepersistentassistant | August 2, 2011

Decreasing Stress Levels Increases Your Profits

As printed in the 7.27.11 Issue of The Woodstock Independent

Decreasing Stress Levels Increases Your Profits

Why are we working harder than ever and yet being less effective?  Stress.

With so many businesses downsizing, work can pile up and most organizations do not have enough employees to accomplish the necessary workload.  Many organizations are short-staffed and employees are often asked to “do more with less”.  Employees may then feel overwhelmed in trying to accommodate the additional workload, while fearing the loss of their job, if they don’t.  This additional stress can take a huge toll on an employee’s productivity level and diminish morale in the workplace. Additionally, this can cause reduced profitability and a consistently frustrated workplace.

Management and employees typically will tend to become reactive in this environment.  They will respond to the most recent task at hand, and then have difficulty returning back to what they were working on.  An actively engaged individual is now scattered and anxious, adding to the stress level.

What can an organization do to offer support in an over-loaded work environment?  Allow your staff to create their own deadlines and manage their own projects whenever possible. Giving your employee the reigns gives them the ability to manage their time and a sense of balance.

What can management do to help employees manage stress?  Meet with employees regularly and discuss the manageability of workloads.

Take the initiative in encouraging wellness. Perhaps offering a health club membership, massage gift certificate or simply an extra fifteen minutes for a walk after lunch, are small ways to motivate staff to take time for themselves in a healthy way.

Have fun in the workplace. Cater breakfast or lunch once a month and encourage employees to take a break and socialize with colleagues. Reduce hours on Fridays, allowing staff to start their weekend earlier.  Offer a “sleep-in” pass as a reward for a job well done, allowing an employee to come in late.  Fun at the office boosts morale and decreases stress.

Management that understands and truly wants to remedy their employees’ stress will result in more appreciative and engaged workers.

Employees need to take the initiative to go to their managers when they are facing a heavy workload that is too hard to handle. In addition, employees can take control in staying organized, creating and following a detailed to-do list every day and setting appropriate deadlines can all help to reduce stress levels.

Following these tips will help to create a happy, healthy, and stress-free workplace environment. When employees know how to take control of their stress, thinking about work should not cause anxiety. Employees can once again feel the excitement for work they felt their very first day on the job.

Laura A. Witlox is the Communications Coordinator of the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce and Proprietress of The Persistent Assistant and can be reached at laura@thepersistentassistant.com.

 

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