Helping Employees Combat Stress

April is National Stress Awareness Month. This event is intended to raise awareness of the consequences of excess stress and encourage individuals to seek appropriate strategies for mitigating and coping with stress.

A wide range of ramifications could result from your employees feeling overly stressed at work. Not only can such stress negatively impact employees’ overall health and well-being, but it can also lead to additional workplace issues—such as lowered productivity levels, higher absenteeism and turnover rates, and a greater likelihood of on-the-job accidents. To help employees keep their stress levels under control, consider these best practices:

  • Schedule routine check-ins with employees to discuss their stress levels.
  • Encourage supervisors to monitor employees for signs of excess stress.
  • Provide employees with stress relief opportunities—including regular breaks, wellness programs (e.g., mindfulness or meditation classes) and social activities.

For additional workplace stress management resources, click here.

Tips for You and Your Team
Many American workers experience on-the-job stress, especially those working in fields that are dangerous or present many distractions. Working in a field that can expose you to obnoxious or threatening customers, loud noises and large crowds on a daily basis is a lot to handle. If you don’t take steps to counteract the chaos, these job-related stressors can lead to health problems, injuries and job failure.

Stress Triggers
Though each individual is different, there are several instances that can trigger undue stress at work:

  • Conflicts out of your control, such as a guest in a bad mood
  • Heavy workloads and long hours
  • Conflicts with co-workers or guests
  • Work/life balance troubles
  • Environmental stressors such as large crowds and loud noises.

It’s wise to look out for early symptoms of stress and take the necessary steps to relieve it quickly. As these symptoms take flight, they can develop into more serious health complications such as heart problems, depression and anxiety. Be wary of the following stress symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Low morale
  • Short temper
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Job dissatisfaction
  • Difficulty concentrating

Ways to Relieve Stress
Though it certainly isn’t simple, relieving stress may not be as hard as you think.

  • Work on things that must get done first and then attack other projects that are less of a priority.
  • Slow down. Think before you act to avoid making sloppy mistakes.
  • Use available resources. Ask your co-workers for assistance with tasks that you cannot do yourself.
  • Resolve conflicts. Before conflicts arise with patrons or co-workers, have a plan in mind of how you will deal with these issues calmly. Again, if a situation arises that you cannot successfully handle on your own, ask for assistance.

Look Again
Balance your life. Make time for your family and friends when you’re not at work. Spending time with people you care for will help you unwind.

If the stressors of your current position are too much for you, talk to your supervisor to discuss ways to help combat stressors in your specific situation.