5 Ways Leaders Can Reduce Employee Stress and Promote Wellbeing
Are you looking for ways to reduce employee stress and promote wellbeing? As a dedicated leader, there are many ways you can improve work-life balance and create a positive culture. Ready to make this year one where you improve well-being in the workplace? Here are our top 5 tips.
Be a Great Listener
As a leader, you know how crucial it is that employees feel a sense of confidence, rapport, and trust. You can set the tone by being open-minded and ready to listen. If you aren’t sure what you’ll be able to do with what you hear, say so. A lot of employee satisfaction comes from knowing that their manager or leader is willing to act on their behalf. You don’t have to have all the answers to listen with care.
Be a Great Role Model
We all know that actions speak louder than words. In many organizations, people tend to play ‘follow the leader’ and emulate their leaders as role models. What does this mean for you and your organization?
It may be that you can show more than telling. Show your team that you care about physical health and well-being by taking action to go for a daily walk or run. Bring healthy food to the office. Make healthy nutritious choices available in the cafeteria if you’re working onsite.
If your team is remote, set up a way for people to share their latest healthy menus, workout schedules, and habits. Use your skills of listening (see tip #1) and gather ideas from your team. Show your employees that their ideas matter, and by putting new practices into play.
Be Aware of Financial Stressors
Whether your company offers financial counseling or not, you can be aware of financial stress impacting your employees. Perhaps with recent changes in the workplace, people are struggling with reduced hours, poor credit, or challenges about working from home.
As a leader, you can share personal anecdotes about how you overcame financial hardships at various times in your life. You may have relatable stories of practically living in your work vehicle, eating just ramen noodles every meal, or scraping by with help from your parents in your early career. Sharing personal stories helps employees feel more at ease with speaking of personal stressors.
Experiment with finding ways to reduce the taboos about talking about sensitive topics such as mental health, finances, and workload. Some of the options you can share may include getting a credit builder card. This is a secured Visa card that enables people to establish and build their credit. Additionally, share personal experiences. Your employees will appreciate hearing how you created a budget, earned extra income, and climbed out of debt.
Be Aware of Mental Health Stressors
In addition to financial stressors, in many workplaces, many workers experience stress like anxiety, depression, anger, or emotionality. Yet, in many cultures, there is still a taboo about mental health. If you notice this is true for your organization, take the time to break down barriers and create a safe space to discuss issues.
Share your personal experiences in ways that are appropriate for your team and work environment. Health experts advise taking a stress inventory of what causes you stress and your reactions. You may find that certain situations such as a long commute, new technology, or an uncomfortable workplace add to your stress. It may be similar for your employees. If possible, speak with employees to find out their specific needs and offer suggestions for mental health support.
Be Alert to Workload Stressors
Finally, address workload issues with transparency. You may not be able to change the total workload, but you can address the emotional loads of working overtime, unpredictable hours, and last-minute changes. If your company is working with the hybrid model, experiment with ways to balance workload stress with flexibility.
Many employees are eager to have more independence in choosing where they are working from, scheduling days for at home or in office shifts, and feeling a sense of control about their schedule. If you can make this work in your business, it can go a long way towards reducing work stress.
When your leadership job is stressful, strive to be human and transparent. Try to keep the lines of communication open, current, and relevant. By communicating openly with your employees, you can be human, maintain a balanced perspective, and create a culture for well-being.