April is National Stress Awareness month, a time that health professionals dedicate to educating and raising awareness about stress. Stress and stress related health issues are a growing epidemic that needs to be addressed. Learning how to recognize our stress, manage it and find new ways to relax and reduce stress is crucial for our work and personal lives.
Everyone encounters stress, some more than others. Stress can be very harmful to your health in a variety of ways if not properly handled. Stress management is becoming a top priority for many companies because of the negative effects of stress.
Work related pressure is one of the biggest causes of stress in the United States. Employees who are dealing with high amounts of stress can be destructive for your company. Employees with high-stress levels have a tendency to create tension with coworkers and butt heads with management. Having employees that do not know how to manage their stress can also have a high financial cost for your company over time because they miss more work, they are less productive, and they are more likely to leave their position. But even worse, stress is incredibly damaging to one’s health.
Stress has been linked to a number of harmful symptoms and diseases such as:
- High blood pressure
- Heart Disease
- Trouble Sleeping
- Weight Gain
- Memory & Concentration Impairment
These conditions are all serious and the risk of suffering from stress-related diseases can be reduced by stress management practices.
As a leader, here are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of stress in your workplace and help your employees manage their stress every day.
- Have an established wellness program. We have written before about the benefits of practicing wellness in the workplace. Exercise and healthy eating can help employees control and manage stress. Having a program established can help people deal with stress as it comes, and get in the habit of exercising after a rough day or taking small breaks to blow off a little steam. Having a wellness program also makes it easier for employees to find the resources they need if they wish to speak with someone or take positive steps to reduce their stress outside of the workplace.
- Master communication. A lot of stress comes when employees feel like they don’t know what is going on, they don’t understand what is expected of them or whether or not they are meeting proper expectations. Letting your employees know when they are doing a good job or are on the right track is a great way to reduce the pressure that they may be feeling. Keeping them up to speed on any changes or new additions will also eliminate the stress of wondering. Always be transparent with your employees and give them clear direction so that they have less to be stressed about.
- Stay positive while at work and lead by example. When your employees know that you are stressed, they are more likely to feel under pressure. Even though you may be under stress yourself from your work and your personal life, keeping up a positive appearance will run off on those around you.
- Make sure that all of your workers are taking sufficient breaks. Working without breaks does not get more accomplished and can make employees feel tired and overrun. Taking a short ten-minute break to do some yoga, relax with a mug of tea, color, or have a laugh with a co-worker is a great way to boost the mood, reduce stress and keep everyone more productive.
- Keep up the appearance of your facility. A clean fresh environment can do a lot for your employee’s mood. Removing clutter and keeping your facility clean and comfortable is a great way to keep employees happy. When you can, try adding simple upgrades like a fresh coat of paint on hallway walls, new magazines in your break room or sprucing up the furniture every couple of years.
Make the most of Stress Awareness month this year by educating yourself on the benefits of stress management and doing everything you can to lead your team in a positive direction. We have put together a great collection of promotional stress reducing items that can help you get your employees heading in the direction of excellent stress management.