While a certain amount of stress in the workplace is inevitable, too much stress will soon begin to interfere with your employee’s performance as well as their emotional and physical wellbeing. The important thing is to recognize stress within your organization and to manage it before it gets out of hand.
There are two types of stress: Eustress and Distress
Eustress is the positive energy that gives individuals the drive to accomplish things. In moderate amounts, this kind of stress can energize your staff and give them a good buzz. It can also elevate their mood and boost your immune system.
Distress is the negative factor that you have to watch out for. If this starts to build up it will begin to adversely affect your staff and the running of your organization. There are a number of common signs that will indicate if there is a level of distress in your workplace, these include:
- Poor concentration
- Anxiety and irritability
- Loss of motivation
- Poor decision making
- High absenteeism
- Increased employee complaints
How to Manage Stress Levels
As a team leader, you have a responsibility to take care of your workers and maintain an environment that does not have a stress level that is adversely affecting your employee’s health.
Create a Comfortable Workspace
One of the most important things to do to keep your employees stress-free is to ensure that your workplace is comfortable and safe. Bear in mind that they spend a large percentage of their week inside the work environment, so it makes sense to keep it pleasant. Make sure they have enough space, that the environment is clean, clutter-free, well lit, and aesthetically pleasing.
Balance the Workload
Often the cause of employee stress is the workload, especially if they can’t keep up with it. If work is piling up on their desk, some individuals can be overwhelmed with anxiety and this will only cause them greater difficulty in concentrating. On the other hand, if employees have to little to do to challenge them, they may become bored and irritated. Distribute the workload evenly between your employees.
Keep the Feedback Coming
Your team needs regular feedback so they know that they are doing a good job or if they need to make some changes. This is the only way they will know if they are meeting goals. Stress can soon arise if you have to reprimand them out of the blue. Keep the lines of communication open with regular feedback.
Build a Sense of Trust
One of the most stressful things in any workplace is a lack of trust between an employee and their co-workers. If you sense there are trust issues in your workplace, you should act immediately. Discuss the problem and its possible solutions with your team without judging or laying blame.