Almost every workplace has been impacted by the recent recession. Layoffs and budget cuts are commonplace and employees are expected to perform at continually higher levels. While some workplace stress is normal and can even be healthy, excessive stress can impact your employees’ health and lead to lower productivity. Workplace stress can also be “contagious”, causing others to be pulled into negative environments.
Are your employees experiencing a dangerous level of stress? A good way to judge their stress levels is to note such things as:
-Impatience in situations
– A tendency to criticize or boss others
-Being unusually stung by negative feedback from others
-Demonstrating feelings of being “overloaded.”
Luckily there are some simple ways to ease the stress levels of your direct reports. Here are some things to try:
Discuss workloads with employees when you sense they have more to do than can be realistically accomplished. Let them know it is okay to ask for help or to renegotiate timelines.
A good sense of humor is important. Use this when working with others to lighten up the situation. Humor is a good way to lessen tension and allow people to relax a bit during stressful periods.
Recognize that striving for perfection can create stress and cause employees to be overly critical of themselves and others. Encouraging them to strive for excellence instead of perfection is much more healthy and productive.