We all know the past few years have been rough. The world continues to be a stressful place and it’s possible your employees are stressed out about it, combined with anything going on at work. It can feel like there’s never a moment’s peace without something new to think about.
If you think your employees are feeling burned out, or to help them avoid that level of stress altogether as much as possible, here are some ways to help your employees reduce stress and feel happier and healthier.
Promote work-life balance
Be honest: Sometimes you can’t change the world and things will compound between work and home. It’s part of being human. And it’s ok. Let your employees know it’s ok to sometimes be distracted by things happening at home when they’re at work, you just want them to do their best. Pledge that you will not call them at home or during off-work hours unless it’s an absolute emergency. Tell them that there will not be any unexpected or demanded overtime without notice. Encourage them to take their time off and to utilize sick days if someone needs care at home. If and when possible, offer flexible scheduling so people can be with their loved ones at important times, including closing early for holidays and adopting an earlier closing time on Fridays in the summer to enjoy longer weekends.
Do your employees have access to cold water all day? Whether that’s a water cooler or one of those auto-fill stations where they put a reusable bottle under a filtered fountain, it’s important to stay hydrated, especially in hot conditions that can be prevalent in warehouses. Are they encouraged to take breaks? A lunch break is required by law and is important to make sure they’re eating to stay healthy and not get depleted during the day. Sitting down is important as well — if they’re standing still all day, that’s a lot of stress and wear on their joints! Having the chance to get away from their work station for a few minutes, to clear their minds and take a little rest, is important for their overall health. Provide information on healthy eating, the importance of exercise and support them in these efforts.
Keep responsibilities evenly divided
As a manager, it’s hard to keep track of every last detail and know exactly who’s responsible for which part of what project at any given moment. But you can try to monitor who’s responsible for what and make sure a few people aren’t overloaded with work while others are bored or looking for something to do. Balancing out responsibilities keeps everyone accountable and working without increasing the burden on some.
This isn’t to say our employees should spend their entire day sitting around talking, but it’s important for people to talk to each other. Encourage teams to take lunch together or to have walking meetings, when possible, to get some fresh air while working through ideas. Here’s another place where taking breaks and lunch is important: Give people a chance to be friendly and social with each other. Humans are social creatures by nature and crave connection with others. Don’t penalize people for that unless it’s causing real harm or a drop in productivity.
Be open to your team
If your door is always closed, people will feel they can’t come to you with anything, whether it’s work-related or a personal matter. This creates a stressful environment in which workers might feel the only option is to “suck it up.” If you want your team to feel less stress, establish an open door policy within reason, so people can come to you with ideas, and suggestions, even just for a moment of moral support. Leaders understand that they need to treat their employees as full people, not just workers, and you can do wonders for your team by being someone they can talk to.
We’re all under a lot of stress in a changing and complicated world. You can help your employees feel better, healthier and happier, by trying to make the workplace a little less stressful and a little more understanding.
If you’d like to learn more about this and how you can help avoid burnout, contact Debbie’s Staffing. Not only can we provide additional suggestions, we can help you add members to your team to alleviate the overworking stress your current employees might be facing. Whether you’re looking for permanent or temporary workers, Debbie’s Staffing can help! Contact us today.