Stress is problematic for many businesses. Stress can cause employees to be less productive and be more likely to take time off work due to stress-related illnesses. If you’re struggling with stress, then it’s probable your team is feeling the pressure too. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to look after your team and reduce stress at work.
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Stress
There are many factors that can cause stress: bad management, high workloads, demanding deadlines, micro-managing bosses, distant managers, argumentative colleagues and many others. Even a bad office set up can cause stress.
Ignoring stress will cause problems for you, your team and the business. You will struggle to motivate a team who are suffering from stress and they will not be working to the best of their abilities. Stressed employees will have a breaking point. If they feel like their situation will never improve, they may hand in their notice. A stressed team will struggle to achieve their targets and miss important deadlines which can have financial repercussions for the company.
Stress can also develop into other issues too: anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions.
If you don’t take any steps to look after your team and protect them from stress, you’re failing to fulfil your responsibilities as a manger.
How To Reduce Stress At Work For BOTH You And Your Team
Just because you’re the manager, doesn’t mean you should carry all the stress. There are ways you can successfully reduce stress at work for you and your team.
Have Regular Catch Up Meetings
Having a quick five to ten minute meeting every morning with your team is a beneficial opportunity for everyone to have a quick catch up. You can assess what everyone has to do that day and this gives your team members a chance to highlight any problems they are facing. If they are struggling with a task, this gives them a window to let you know and you can see if anyone can provide a helping hand. Major problems can slow down a project’s progress and cause stress that could have been avoided.
No Unnecessary Meetings With The Team
Having too many meetings can waste valuable working time. For each meeting, determine who exactly needs to be in the meeting and who doesn’t have to be. During the meeting, keep it on topic and it’s recommended you keep a strict time limit. If you’ve asked your team to attend a thirty-minute meeting, keep it within those thirty minutes.
Try having meetings standing up. More teams are having their meetings around standing tables and height adjustable desks. Standing keeps people more awake, encourages collaboration and, most importantly, more people will want to stay on topic and achieve a successful conclusion so they can sit back down.
Encourage Communication And Collaboration
Stress is often caused when people feel like they have all the responsibility on their shoulders. Encourage your team to communicate and work together. When teams are able to communicate easily with each other, people feel more comfortable asking for help and they can better identify when someone needs a helping hand.
Having a high workload with high pressure deadlines looming is a recipe for stress.
As a manager, it can be difficult at times to ascertain how much work an employee can complete in a day. While you want to make sure everyone has tasks to complete, you don’t want to overburden people. During your quick morning catch up with the team, you can see what people have to do that day. If anyone’s workloads sound too ambitious, delegate the tasks to other people or change the deadline to another day.
Thanks to wireless internet and technology, more employees find it difficult to detach themselves from work. It’s too easy to check their work emails and notifications while at home. However, letting your work life intrude on your home life can have mental and physical negatives.
If you notice any members of your team replying to emails on the weekend or after work, find out why. Are they replying to messages because they have too much work to complete during the day? This means you need to help reorganise their tasks. However, if they have plenty of time to complete their work, then they need to be told not to do work outside of their contracted hours.
If you have a habit of checking your emails outside of work hours, stop. You must lead by an example to your team.
You can help reduce stress at work for you and your team by helping people prioritise tasks. Make it clear which projects are more pressing to complete and reorganise other deadlines accordingly. This helps people understand what tasks are more urgent to complete so they don’t have to stress over work.
A team’s responsibilities can cause stress for everyone. While you may automatically want to take most of the responsibility to help your team or if you struggle to rely on others, it’s important that you learn to delegate. One person should not have to suffer the stress of all the responsibility when you’re working as part of a team. In a meeting, delegate important tasks to other people. Make sure you check people’s workloads, you don’t want to overload your colleagues. Your team will appreciate getting extra responsibilities because it shows you trust them and you can help reduce stress for the entire team by working together.