Is stress bringing your employees down? 5 ways you can help.
Do you think your employees are stressed? If you answered ‘yes’ you’re probably right. The overall stress level of Americans rose for the first time in 10 years according to the American Psychological Association. And a new study by the RAND Corporation and Harvard Medical School says work is taking a physical and mental toll on employees.
Stress is bad for your employees, and it’s costing your business money. According to one study, stress costs the average employer $2,770 per year, per employee. An estimated 1 million workers every day lose work due to stress, costing employers $602 per employee per year.
What to do? Here are 5 positive actions to help your employees cope:
• Express thanks: Start every day by sending an email of appreciation to one of your staff. Employees who feel valued and appreciated can cope with stress better. Doing this will also help you set a positive tone to the day and feel connected to your team.
• Encourage exercise: The evidence connecting physical exercise with positive mental health and stress reduction is overwhelming. So urge your employees to walk, consider purchasing stand-up desks, offer yoga classes onsite, provide financial incentives for joining a gym. Anything that gets your team moving is a step towards helping them feel less stressed out. Plus, exercise is proven to improve alertness, reduces fatigue and enhances overall cognition.
• Offer benefits: Financial worries are one of the leading causes of stress. Offering great benefits can shift employees’ minds from their worries to their work. Are you providing the best medical benefits at the best rates? Do you have a Health Advocate, EAP and corporate discounts? If you answered ‘no’ maybe it’s time for a personalized medical benefits audit from CLEAR, no strings attached.
• Urge vacations: On average, 50% of American workers don’t use all of their vacation time, many for fear that they’ll lose their jobs or get left out of big decisions. But vacation is important to productivity, happiness and even creativity.
• Be upbeat when you start a conversation: We often mirror the mood of those we talk to. So set the right tone by beginning a discussion on a positive note and the other person will likely respond in kind.