Employee stress is something to be expected. Some research shows that some levels of stress are actually a good thing. But too much work stress causes employee burnout and other unfortunate consequences.
In this article, we'll cover what causes employee stress, components of a stress management program, and how to get started.
Stress Management Programs at Work
Stress management programs are a systemized way to deal with work stress and employee burnout.
Companies who invest in programs to improve employee morale, lower stress, and increase employee happiness benefit from having a culture that works.
Sources of Workplace Stress
There are different sources of stress, and each person has a different level of acceptable stress. In general, workplace stress boils down to a few key factors:
1. Areas of responsibility
Is the level of responsibility manageable?
Are there sufficient resources, tools, technology, and personnel for employees to do well in their jobs?
3. Job security
Have massive layoffs made employees on edge?
4. Work culture and transparency
Do communication styles and culture support low-stress problem solving?
5. Organizational skills
Are projects handed off in a logical process that works for everyone?
6. Interpersonal conflicts
Are there any personality conflicts among coworkers?
7. Work conditions and environment
Are employees at risk of muscle aches, pains, or injury due to work station arrangements?
A stress management program will address each according to the type of stress it represents: physical stress, mental stress, or emotional stress.
Components of a Stress Management Program
In the workplace, stress management programs could work in a number of ways. The size of the organization, budget, and available resources will determine the best action to take.
Ideas for Workplace Stress Management
Some ideas will be an easy addition to the workplace, while others may require significant organizational restructuring.
- Hold a lunch and learn session on managing stress
- Combat physical stress and injuries like carpal tunnel with regular on site massage
- Utilize guided meditation programs
- Offer flexible schedules, job-share, or work-from-home opportunities
- Address financial stress by providing financial wellness courses or groups to support personal financial growth
- Stress the importance of personal health and wellness in the company's values
- Evaluate changes needed to personnel or management styles to create a more emotionally intelligent team
Getting Started With Employee Stress Management
First Things First: Survey Your Employees
As with any new initiative, the best first step is to survey employees to get their input. Based on the feedback you get from your employees, you can create a customized stress management program for your team.
- How do they feel about stress at work?
- What are their biggest job stresses?
- Are they interested in a program to improve their work experience?
Without knowing how your employees are doing, whatever program you create is likely to fail. You've got to have employee buy-in and input if a program is going to be successful.