Is your workplace more stressful than it was pre-recession? According to a Right Management poll,* 92 percent of workers polled feel that their workplace has become more stressful in the last five years. Due in large part to the recession, employee stress has increased due of the following:
- Staff cutbacks, leading to heavier workloads
- Reduced training and professional development
- Fewer advancement opportunities
- Greater competitive pressure
- Company focus on sales results, earnings and bottom line
What can companies do to manage the increased stress in the work setting? We have several suggestions:
- Look for opportunities to praise employees (especially publicly) for the extra effort. A little “thank you” goes a long way.
- Offer low-cost perks that might make employees feel valued, de-stress, or save time, such as a more comfortable work environment, meals provided during extra work hours, optional monthly on-site massages, or a company fitness center.
- Provide (financial or other) incentives for employees who meet their performance or sales goals.
- Keep an open communication between the HR department, the management teams, and the employees to ensure employee satisfaction and avoid unnecessary turnover.
- Consider hiring temporary employment help during high-demand periods or employee absences to keep full-time staff from getting overloaded with work.
Every workplace has stress. However, if leadership learns to manage the stress in the workplace effectively, companies can keep stress levels to a minimum, and maintain worker satisfaction.
* Source: EHS Today: The Recession Spells Increased Stress for Workers; April 1, 2013