Today's workforce is stressed out – everything from the country's political situation to work/life balance, and interpersonal challenges in the office can contribute to stress levels. When your workers are focused on what is making them stressed, they may call in sick, they may not produce at their highest levels, and they may even be looking for another job. HR leaders and business owners should consider the following about stressed out employees and work to help them get back on track today.
Figure Out What's Really Stressing You Out
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), there are a number of issues causing stress in the workplace. One recent survey revealed some surprise contributors: unpredictability and deadlines were two of the top factors. To successfully mitigate stress, it is important to identify what is stressing you out. Are long hours keeping you away from your family? Is an unpredictable schedule making it difficult to meet tight but important deadlines? Is a demanding boss putting pressure on your emotional health on a daily basis? Create a list of all the things causing you stress in the workplace, and rank them from most stressful to least stressful. This can help provide a clear lens through which to focus your stress reduction efforts.
Focus Your Time on Your Most Important Objectives
Many things are competing for our attention today, and that can contribute to increased stress. If deadlines or a heavy workload are the culprit, start by ensuring that your daily priorities are clear. Focus on the most important objectives of your job. What must get done on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis for you to be considered successful in your position? One way to determine this is to look at your annual goals and what you're compensated on. It can also be helpful to arrange a discussion with your manager to evaluate your workload and ensure your priorities align with theirs. When you're focused on what your company's leadership considers to be the most important objectives, it's may be easier to prioritize and manage your workload.
Have a Strategy for Difficult Co-workers
Colleagues can add to their stress levels. Whether it's a personality clash or very different community styles, it's important to have a plan to minimize the stress from interpersonal difficulties in the workplace. Spend time figuring out what frustrates you. For example, do you have a co-worker who is constantly interrupting you to gossip or complain? Staying positive, or politely saying you have to get back to work can redirect his or her attention in another direction. If it is a matter of workplace bullying or other serious issues, discussing the situation with HR or you supervisor may be the right next step.
Invest in a Self-Care Routine
Managing stress can be easier when you're spending time investing in your mental and physical health. Many people find exercising, meditating, taking part in yoga, or following a stress reduction program has a positive impact on their ability to manage stress overall. In addition to channeling current anxiety, spending time on self-care can also help equip you with the tools to face future challenges – which reduces stress-related problems over time.
Stress is a reality of modern life and the modern workplace. It's important that business leaders and HR professionals recognize this, and have useful, practical tips to share with their workers to help reduce stress. From developing better coping skills to managing your workload in alignment with organizational priorities, it's possible to take steps to minimize stress related issues on the job.