In today’s fast-paced work environment, many managers find themselves and their teams struggling with burnout, overwhelm, anxiety, and stress.
These emotions can have a significant impact on productivity, creativity, mental well-being, and also profit. However, it is possible for managers and teams to overcome these challenges and bring harmony back to the workplace by putting a few straightforward strategies into practise.
Here are 5 strategies managers can use to deal with stress in the workplace:
1. Encourage Open Communication
Create an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their workload and concerns openly, without the fear of judgment. This safe space can help spot the signs or potential triggers of anxiety and stress before they become critical and provide an opportunity for all involved to find collaborative solutions.
By promoting open communication, managers are also more likely to be aware of any personal struggles that a colleague may be facing that could impact their work if left unacknowledged, and then be able to respond appropriately.
When team members understand their manager and colleagues will support them, both within and outside of the office, they are more likely to show ongoing loyalty and satisfaction within the workplace.
2. Identify the Triggers
It is essential to understand what is causing the overwhelm, anxiety, and stress within the workplace as this will enable managers to better manage their employees’ deadlines and workload, as well as their interactions with each other.
If at all possible, maybe a role or task that is causing a colleague stress would be better reassigned to another team member who is more suited for the task and would not be as easily triggered. By doing so, we can play to each employee’s strengths and make sure that the team as a whole is cohesive.
3. Create a Supportive Work Environment
If you and your colleagues are currently working long hours, what can be done to reduce those hours? The pandemic has shown us that it is possible for many businesses to operate remotely, so are there any time-consuming tasks that can be outsourced?
Managers can also provide resources such as mental health services, access to health clubs, or offer flexible working hours to help employees manage their stress levels. Is it essential for employees to work the traditional 9 – 5 or could some of the team stagger their hours to fit in around their own lifestyle?
Furthermore, is it possible for some one-to-one meetings to be held outside of the office, whilst walking? Exercise releases endorphins, a natural mod booster, and research has shown that being outdoors boosts concentration, creativity, and productivity.
4. Promote Work-Life Balance
Encourage employees to maintain a healthy balance in their personal life as well as their work life.
This can be done by setting realistic expectations and deadlines to avoid overload, encouraging time off, and creating a compassionate workplace culture.
As a manager, you can lead by example and avoid sending emails or calling colleagues outside of work hours as this blurs the boundaries between work and home life.
5. Encourage self-care
Encouraging employees to take regular breaks can help reduce stress and overwhelm, and improve productivity. By stepping away from our desks for a few minutes, we give our minds a chance to rest and recharge.
By focussing our attention on the present moments rather than on the past or the future, encouraging time for mindfulness helps us feel less stressed and overwhelmed. Mindfulness decreases anxiety and stress by redirecting our minds and reducing negative thoughts. We can practise this by concentrating on our breath. As a manager, we might also want to offer tools and assistance to team members so they can learn these techniques.
Having a consistent routine can also help to create a sense of control over our environment, which can be comforting and calming, so try and schedule meetings at the same time each week.
This guest blog is written by Jennifer Roblin, Anxiety Relief Specialist and Confidence Coach, with over 25 years of experience helping people create and achieve their goals and live their lives free from anxiety. She offers ‘Walk and Talk Therapy’ and other Anxiety Management Coaching sessions. You can get in touch with Jennifer Roblin through her email email@example.com or visit her website for more information www.betteryourlife.co.uk.
Managers, to further assist you in evaluating the emotional fitness of your team in the workplace, get a copy of my book, Emotional Fitness A-Z for Positive Mental Health. This action book can help you take control of your stress and anxiety. It is very practical to use for team activities and meetings to promote and bring positive mental health and emotional fitness to your organisation.