Employee stress is the number-one drain on productivity and motivation in U.S. workplaces today. Employees who are under stress are more likely to miss work or to be “checked out” even if they are physically present. Stressed employees are also less likely to think creatively, to take calculated risks, or to share innovative ideas with supervisors or co-workers.
According to the National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 40 percent of workers describe their job as “very or extremely stressful.” Twenty-six percent say they are “often or very often” burned out by work-related stress. And 75 percent say that workers today are more stressed than they were a generation ago.
Here’s how to start busting stress at work and help your employees stay happier, healthier, and more productive:
- Examine how tasks are designed. Stress can build up in any work situation in which the workload is heavy, rest breaks are sporadic, and work hours are long. In addition, “busywork” that seems to have little purpose can lead to employee stress by sapping employees’ sense of control or meaning in their work. Make sure employees have the flexibility to move around, manage their workflow, and learn how the work they do affects the business as a whole.
- Consider workplace relationships and culture. A poor relationship with bosses and co-workers is one of the leading causes of workplace stress – and one of the top reasons employees leave their jobs. To reduce stress and turnover, focus on identifying how your workplace culture operates and on matching people to teams and supervisors in terms of personality and work style, not merely skills. Your recruiter can help.
- Reduce work roles and expectations. Conflicting job expectations, demands that don’t match the worker’s skill set, or simply wearing “too many hats” can all cause massive job stress. When needed, bring in new staff or contract workers with specialized skills to ensure that staff can focus on their day-to-day tasks. Make job expectations clear and measurable, so employees know when they are doing well. Offer training opportunities that allow workers to gain the skills they need to tackle key tasks.
The recruiters at Sparks Group help each of our clients find people who offer a great cultural fit and solid skill sets. Contact us today to learn more about our specialized recruiting services for many industries including Office/Administrative Support, IT, Finance, and Creative.