If you want to be an effective business leader and for your enterprise to achieve, you need to be able to inspire those around you to work as hard as you do. However, you also need to ensure your employees are not being overwhelmed and subjected to the kind of stresses that could lead to them suffering from burnout. Here are a few ways to keep stress in the workplace to an absolute minimum.
Food for thought
When employees are under pressure, they will often neglect to eat healthy and instead head for the nearest fast food chain in order to spend as little time away from their desk as possible. The temporary rush of energy that comes from eating sugar means they are also more likely to be tempted by snacks such as biscuits, doughnuts or chocolate bars. Although such foods can provide a brief boost, this can be followed by a crash during which their ability to think slows down and productivity grinds to a halt.
Several studies show that a diet rich in foods containing vitamin B and Omega-3 boosts mental help while reducing symptoms of anxiety. Whole grain carbohydrates can also assist in regulating levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter in the brains responsible for feelings of well-being and calmness.
By providing easy access to a range of healthy food choices – such as having a delivery from a vendor one or two days each week – you can ensure that your employees are eating in a way that benefits both their personal health and the overall well-being of your company.
Put your team in touch with nature
According to a study by researchers at Kansas State University, employees working among non-flowering plants have been found to have lower levels of blood pressure. Such plants require little in the way of maintenance and not only create a healthier environment but a prettier one too.
If you want to experience some of the benefits with even less in the way of maintenance, consider installing a diffuser into the office to spread the scent of essential oils, many of which have been linked to lower levels of tension and increased mental clarity.
Remove sources of frustration
There is no such thing as the perfect workplace. Every office has rules and procedures in place that do nothing to help achieve corporate objectives and instead only dispirit, undermine and frustrate employees. Although many such issues may appear to be minor, you can boost both happiness and productivity among your workforce.
All processes within your organization should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they are still up to date and relevant to the overall aims of the enterprise. Such reviews are also a chance to look for ways to simplify processes to make them flow more smoothly.
You should also seek to ease any minor frustrations members of your workforce may encounter on a regular basis, from a coffee machine that constantly breaks down or faulty air conditioning unit to overly strict dress policies or the regular misplacing of keys to the office or the stationary cupboard.
To address this latter issue, consider attaching key finder devices. This not only makes it easier for your employees to keep track of such items but also enhances security by speeding up the process of determining whether an item has been simply mislaid or actually stolen. Click here to find out more about the best Bluetooth tracker devices for keys and other items.
Encourage physical activity
Exercise is a major stress reliever, so it’s important to encourage your employees to ensure they build sufficient physical activity into their day. Not everyone wants to spend their lunchtime sweating it up at the gym but arranging a group walk at lunchtime or arranging for a yoga teacher to attend one or two days per week can be all that is needed to give your staff an energy boost.
It’s especially important to arrange such breaks when there are deadlines approaching. While the temptation may be to spend more and more hours at a desk working as the clock counts down, this is ultimately counterproductive and slows down the rate at which work is completed, raising stress levels higher still. Taking even just a five-minute break, every two hours or so, can be enough to act as a refresher.
Employees who are struggling to complete tasks or come up with creative ideas will often find that after a short burst of physical activity they return to their desks with a host of new solutions to the problems that they simply had not seen before.
Losing an employee is a costly business. Not only do you have to find the time and money needed to recruit and train a replacement, but you also face a period of reduced productivity and lose out on what could amount to many years of experience that may have been crucial in helping your company to find success.
Trying to hold on to key workers by offering them ever larger pay packets is a strategy that is difficult to sustain but, in many cases, employees will forgo a higher salary for other benefits. Chief among these is the ability to work in a more flexible way that better fits in with their lives outside the office. This is especially true for employees who have children.
Letting key members of staff come into the office a little later or leave a little earlier so they can take or collect their children from school or letting them occasionally work from home will not only help retain their services but can also significantly reduce their stress levels. Although such flexible working may be unconventional, studies show that such employees can be just as efficient. Rather than monitoring work hours, insist that projects assigned to them are completed by a particular deadline. In this way, it doesn’t matter whether they are working at 4pm in the afternoon or 2am in the morning, just so long as the work gets done when it is supposed to be done.