Recognize Stress Awareness Month by Showing Support for Your Colleagues
Even in the best of times, stress comes and goes. But as we’ve pivoted and adapted throughout the pandemic, our stress levels have been heightened.
Stress Awareness Month occurs every April. And this year, in particular, it feels more important than ever for employers to acknowledge it.
Whether they’re working from home, adjusting to a hybrid work model, returning to the office full-time, or unsure of what their future office situation will look like, employees are likely battling symptoms of stress as they acclimate—and they might not even know it.
Sure, remote work has its benefits. But with the distinction between “work” and “home” becoming blurred, many employees may be suffering from burnout.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution that can counter employees’ stress and uncertainty: gratitude.
Read on to discover 6 ways that you can prevent stress in your workplace by implementing an attitude of gratitude:
How Stress Negatively Impacts Both Employees and Businesses
Stress is a normal human reaction that can negatively impact a business’s employees as well as its bottom line. Concerning employees specifically, pervasive stress reactions can lead to dangerous negative effects on a worker’s mental and physical health.
For example, in terms of workplace productivity, stress can lead to a lack of energy, poor focus, reduced creativity, and insufficient time management. Additionally, when employees are unable to manage their stress symptoms, they may experience serious health implications including anxiety, depression, sleep problems, chronic headaches, and fatigue.
Everyone experiences stress in their daily lives, but work-related stress can make matters much worse. According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), over 80 percent of American workers suffer from work-related stress, and stress is a leading factor that causes employees to miss workdays.
Stress doesn’t just affect individual employees: it also maintains a financial impact for businesses. Research from The American Institute of Stress divulges that work-related stress costs American businesses up to $300 billion annually.
To mitigate the negative results caused by stress in the workplace, employers should consider leveraging gratitude to combat feelings of stress that exist within their work environments.
6 Simple Tips for Reducing Workplace Stress with Gratitude
It’s no secret that a company’s most important asset is its employees. To ensure that you’re appreciating your colleagues and making sure they feel heard, below are 6 ways that you can reduce stress in your workplace by demonstrating gratitude:
1. Show Appreciation for Employees
As a business leader, it pays to keep your employees happy. Not only is it incredibly expensive to onboard new employees, but 79% of employees quit because they don’t feel appreciated.
One way to express your gratitude for your employees is to recognize each team member’s contribution to the team. Send email shout-outs, offer gestures of appreciation and bonuses, and encourage communication among team members and management to ensure your employees feel valued.
Additionally, you should also make an effort to support and build relationships within your team to reduce stress, increase productivity, and improve employee engagement.
Showing appreciation for your employees should be an ongoing effort. Luckily, it’s as easy as saying Thnks!
2. Support Open and Honest Communication
Trust is a hot commodity in the business world, and it’s something employers should try to foster with employees. Note that when employees believe they can trust leadership, they feel a deeper sense of commitment to their job, which helps to reduce their stress levels.
Try making yourself and your management team available to your employees, and communicating with transparency whenever possible.
It can be stressful for employees to broach subjects like career growth, workload, or taking time off with leadership if there isn’t an atmosphere of open communication. So by having designated “office hours” where employees can meet with their managers or employers to discuss concerns they may have, they’ll feel heard and believe that their opinions are valued by their organization’s stakeholders.
3. Offer Flexible Scheduling
While your employees may depend on their jobs to make a living, they need to maintain a work-life balance.
One way to reduce stress for employees who have outside obligations such as raising children or caring for a family member is by offering flexible scheduling opportunities.
When your employees can work around their schedules, they are more likely to feel relaxed and focused when they are at work. Additionally, this flexibility will show them that you value their time and that you’re grateful for their contributions to your company.
Since the pandemic has proven that we’re capable of pivoting our work conditions, consider keeping remote work as an option in situations where it is appropriate, or offering it as a part-time option for your employees.
4. Encourage Your Employees to Take Breaks
It’s important to remember that your employees are people, and simply saying “thank you” or sharing a small gesture of appreciation will go a long way in reducing their stress.
For example, making sure your employees take breaks can help to reduce their stress and improve their job satisfaction. One way to determine if your colleagues are spending time away from their computer screens is to check in with them to make sure that they are taking their full lunch breaks, and encourage them to avoid working through lunch or eating at their desks.
If you’re currently in the process of giving your office a post-pandemic makeover, consider offering a pleasant break room or adding outdoor spaces where employees can take breaks. Exposure to sunlight during the day can increase dopamine production and reduce stress.
5. Offer Mental Health Days
Sometimes we all need a break, but some employees may believe that calling off work without being physically ill is “frowned upon” by their employer. However, mental health is just as important as physical health, and making it acceptable for your employees to take a day off for their mental health can help decrease stress.
In addition to giving your employees paid time off and medical leave, consider implementing “mental health days.” For example, to help employees avoid burnout, LinkedIn practiced employee appreciation by surprising workers with a paid week off.
In addition to decreasing stress, offering mental health days can make your employees feel more supported in the workplace, which can increase job satisfaction and productivity.
6. Share Mental Health Resources with Employees
Sometimes taking a day off from work to focus on your mental health isn’t enough. As an employer, an effective way to support your employees’ mental wellness is by disclosing mental health resources and offering mental health benefits.
One way to do this effectively is by sharing informative articles and mental health resources through email or hosting company enrichment days on subjects like meditation or mindfulness. Additionally, promoting online therapy and online psychiatry resources will be beneficial for those who may need some extra help.
Honor Stress Awareness Month By Practicing Employee Appreciation
Stress may be a part of everyday life, but it doesn’t have to be a given in the workplace.
Stress Awareness Month provides the perfect opportunity to evaluate your company’s plan for reducing workplace stress, Thnk your employees for their continued hard work, and help them foster a healthier work-life balance.
The best way to demonstrate your gratitude towards your colleagues and show them that you value them is to take steps to reduce workplace stress and make your business a better place to work.
Thnks can help you empower your employees and enhance their motivation. Within seconds, you can show them your appreciation by searching for a gesture, personalizing a note, and sending it off via SMS or email. Interested in learning more? Sign up for a demo!