Knowing that employees are whole beings that drive any organization, allows us to have a holistic approach to employee programs. We then ensure to not only equip them to deliver results, but also equally important, we look to preserve, and even improve, their overall well-being.
Stress Management focused in the workplace will be a program that aims to help employees’ total well-being.
Stress is basically the body’s perception and response to an external or internal stimulus, and may be positive or negative depending on certain factors.
Positive stressors could be those that drive you to perform at your best and find fulfilment after.
Negative stressors could be those that demotivate instead of inspire.
Workplace stress could stem from a whole lot of factors such as lack of the right tools, inconsistent policies, excessive workload, compensation concerns, training gaps, team conflicts, poor leadership. And even while in the workplace, a whole lot of non-work aspects could contribute to stress as well, including family, relationships, finances, personal aspirations, and more.
Stress Management helps individuals adapt their thoughts, emotions and lifestyle to effectively deal with these “stress triggers.” Whether positive or negative stressors, the key is how one is able to find balance and cope healthily with these triggers. Even supposedly positive stressors, if not handled effectively, may become excessive and backfire as well. How then can employees deal with all kinds of stress so that they translate into healthy results? Here are some basic aspects of Stress Management one can start with:
1. Self-Awareness. This is key to stress management. Evaluate the situations that are most stressful for you, including your feelings and reactions toward these situations. As you identify these sources of stress, you can assess how to avoid or eliminate such triggers, or how to healthily respond when these triggers seem inevitable. Awareness allows you to not only change stressful situations, but also recognize if the change needs to start within yourself as well, to react more healthily and positively to these stressors.
2. Health and Wellness. When our health and wellness – physical, mental, emotional, social – is in good shape, we can better deal with stressors that come our way. Observe a healthy lifestyle in mind and body. Eat right and sleep right. Allow regular time for movement such as exercise which helps regulate emotions and release healthy elements within our body that do help fight stress. Find hobbies that both relax your being and stimulate your mind. Develop a health and wellness routine that can fit your needs and lifestyle, and commit to it.
3. Building Relationships. Setting aside time to come together for non-work matters helps nurture workplace relationships. Positive relationships allow for better team dynamics, more open communication and healthier conflict resolution. These not only facilitate accomplishing goals faster, but also create an affirming and highly-motivating work environment, allowing for more creativity and inspiration to flow.
4. Rest / Time-Off. Any equipment that keeps on running without rest will eventually conk out on you. While work seems to never end, it is a healthy discipline to identify when one should call it a day, to pause, and look forward to tomorrow to start anew and continue on. Being able to rest keeps us alert to handle situations more appropriately. Taking time-off allows you to step back and see things anew with fresh eyes, to reset, leading to more ideas and solutions. Leave benefits were provided precisely for this purpose – use them and encourage your employees to avail of them.
5. Company Facilities and Programs. While the above can be self-initiated and managed individually and among peers, it is best that companies provide the infrastructure to allow these and more Stress Management initiatives to be realized. By identifying common stressors among employees through surveys or small group discussions, companies can introduce a wide range of Stress Management initiatives from sports room facilities, entertainment or rest lounges, policy and process changes to address stress factors (e.g. workload, leaves, career development needs, etc.), integrated wellness exercises, socialization opportunities, and more. From policies to facilities, a company-initiated and supported Stress Management program is a great stress buster in itself.
Above are basic Stress Management tips anyone can begin with, and there are many more ways. Effective Stress Management yields both tangible and intangible benefits: increased productivity, less absenteeism and attrition, and higher employee engagement, are just a few. While stress is inevitable, dealing with it unhealthily should not be the norm. Help your employees beat stress so that they may always be at their best. Because when they are, the company is too.