As a business owner, you should aim to create a work environment for your employees that’s as stress-free as possible. Not only does stress negatively affect the mental health of your team members, but workplace stress in the United States costs companies up to $300 billion in productivity loss per year. You shouldn’t leave the burden of stress relief on your employees’ shoulders, though; as a manager, you also need to take an active role in providing a stress-free environment for your team to work and be comfortable in. Here are a few ways you can do so.
Make Workplace Wellness a Priority
When a person is both physically and mentally healthy, their productivity increases at work. Despite this fact, many employees don’t take advantage of wellness programs offered by their company; that means that you, as a manager, need to show how important looking after oneself is. You can do this in many different ways: setting aside dedicated time for wellness, taking a walk either individually or as a group a few times a week, or scheduling paid wellness events for employees to participate in.
Set Clear, Realistic Goals
Sometimes goals can be vague or too ambitious to some people, even if those goals make perfect sense to you. A major cause of stress for employees is unrealistic expectations set by their managers at work, which means that to relieve stress, you should take time to reassess your goals and see if there’s a way to clear things up for everyone. Your goals should follow the SMART strategy: they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-limited. Sticking to the SMART strategy will let every employee know what’s expected of them in a clear and concise way.
Not only should you listen to any criticism or complaints from your employees with an unbiased mind, but you should listen to their ideas and take them into consideration as well. Managers aren’t the only ones who can come up with ideas to grow the company they work for; your employees work at the same company you do and are bound to have ideas for improvement. Top-down management—management where managers are the end-all-be-all of company decisions—actively works against stress relief in the workplace and has a tendency to stifle creativity.
The best thing you can do is encourage and accept feedback from your employees before making decisions that’ll affect the group.