There are only so many hours in a day and, when it comes to working, those hours seem to go by so quickly when there’s a lot to do. It’s only a matter of time before people feel overwhelmed or stressed.
Managers and team leaders have a significant role to play in helping alleviate that stress and finding ways to mitigate it while ensuring the team’s deadlines are met. After all, stressed workers aren’t going to be as efficient or productive as possible, which could lead to problems down the road.
Here are some techniques that can help everyone feel a little less stressed, a little more relaxed, and a whole lot happier.
Encourage breaks, then make sure you take them too
Leaders and managers need to set a strong example for employees to mirror. If your team sees you working nonstop from the time you get in until it’s time to go home, they’ll assume the same is expected of them. Everyone is entitled to a break for lunch; make sure you take yours, so your team knows it’s ok for them to do so as well and not just feel compelled to eat at their desk.
Offer the opportunity to talk one-on-one, then really listen to what’s said
It’s very easy for employees to feel intimidated by the invitation to talk with their manager. However, without individual check-ins, managers very often don’t really understand what’s going on within their team. Make it very clear that there are no repercussions to what’s discussed, but that you want to make sure everyone has what they need to complete all their assignments. Listen to what’s said, take notes, and see what needs following upon to address concerns that need to be fixed.
Be flexible when and where possible
Not all work environments can offer certain perks, like flex time or working from home, but are there changes that could be offered to help accommodate individual needs? With warmer weather coming, people are going to want to take time off. Could the company institute a modified schedule to allow everyone to leave a little earlier on Fridays? If someone has childcare needs, can you work with them to ensure their work is completed on a slightly modified schedule? Find ways to meet employees where they’re stressed, and you’ll take burdens off their shoulders.
Declutter and distress
Encourage your team to spend part of a day cleaning their work area. Have the whole team do it at the same time: a cluttered desk or work area can lead to stress if important items can’t be quickly and easily found. It doesn’t need to take a whole lot of time, but it will make everyone feel a whole lot better. Organize work materials, tools, frequently used items. Put things where they belong and watch stress levels fall. If suitable, bring in a new plant or two to liven up the place.
Show your appreciation
It really is the little things that make the biggest impressions. Take a little time at your next staff or team meeting, and thank your workers for what they do. Single out a few people who’ve really gone above and beyond or made great strides. Buy snacks — breakfast or lunch or even just donuts can brighten up a day and put people in a better mood. People who feel appreciated don’t feel as overwhelmed because they know their boss recognizes their good work.
It doesn’t have to be a big ordeal to help address the stress points in your team. A few little steps can go a very long way toward making everyone feel better and back on track.
Improve your work environment today
For more advice on how to improve your work environment, contact Debbie’s Staffing. We’re standing by and ready to help offer assistance on managerial tasks and staffing issues, or if you’re looking to add to your team. Contact us today, and let’s get started.