Today, more than ever, all business owners must manage stress levels within their organizations. This is essential for creating happy teams and improving productivity levels to encourage future business growth. This can be driven by both policy, as well as every day conscious effort. Stress is passed along from top to bottom within every organization, no matter its success or culture, and it is important to try and manage it at every level.
A Happy Workplace: As a starting point, every business, brand or organization should envision itself to be a happy place to work, incorporating some variation of this vision into its mission. Of course, simply stating or aiming for the goal is not enough. Creating a happy work place requires genuine effort and some degree of ground work to keep team members happy and productive. Organizing group events inside or outside the office; having impromptu celebrations; and designing workspaces with places for co-workers to interact informally are all effective techniques to help reduce stress levels and liven up dull workplace atmosphere.
Skill Development: Helping employees develop their skillsets not only helps business owners materially, but also helps reduce the stresses related to team members’ professional development. Treating every employee like a cared-for human being and helping him or her plan a path for career growth should be a goal of every manager. This kind of valuable attention builds a much needed level of trust among employees, while also providing them a desirable sense of security in the workplace.
A Culture of Appreciation: Appreciating employees for the good work they do is another way to build a positive work environment. Of course, team leads should pro-actively help the teams in achieving the expected levels of productivity. This should be done through encouragement, patience and acceptance of occasional mistakes. Developing situations where team members are “coerced” to perform, creates stress and reduces output. It’s simply not efficient. Every individual, regardless of where they rank within the organization, should be encouraged to come up with ideas and solutions. There should be a culture of equal opportunities for all employees at all times. This keeps teams motivated and ready for more.
Health and Fitness: Good managers are always aware of the health and fitness levels of their team members. Ideally, all team members are happy and healthy. It is wise to provide team members with free health check-ups from reputable health care professionals on a quarterly or semi-annual basis, to ensure that they are not suffering through debilitating stress or illness without seeking out care for their conditions. Organizing sporting events or partnering with other organizations to participate in their health and wellness events on weekends is a great way to encourage and improve team fitness and health.
Time Management Workshops: Weekly time management workshops help corporate leaders better understand the work levels of their team members and the time they are using to complete required tasks. Teams should be trained to manage their time well, while completing their work, efficiently. If certain employees are stressed out due to the burden of work they are responsible for, then their managers need to listen to them carefully, before setting or adjusting expectations. Teams can be trained to divide their time into tasks.
Using time and task tracking software can help simplify this process. Team Members should record their hours and add tasks on a daily basis. This helps alleviate the stress caused by non-completion of tasks and non-achievement of goals. Timesheets should subsequently be carefully scrutinized for sudden downfalls in productivity. These should then be discussed on an individual basis to try and identify and help resolve the associated issues.
Managing Stressful Situations: Finally, stressful business situations will arise every now and then. It’s simply a fact of life. These may happen because of non-achievement of goals on time or a systematic shortfall. Managers should strive to ensure that these stresses are not passed on to other team member like a bad virus. Failures should be looked at as opportunities to motivate teams for performance improvement. Gaps in performance should be used to introspect and improve, with those identified as team members taking advantage of their work environments being penalized, and others being provided necessary feedback and solutions. Key is encouraging proactive engagement to make the situation better. Minimizing stressful situations in the workplace is a responsibility that every business and team leader needs to keep top-of-mind on a continuing basis, to maximize business results.