Workplace Stress- Help Your Employees Combat Pressure And Create A Happy Work Environment In 2023
Mr. Mehra owns XYZ company. He started the company in 1997, and since then it has scaled great heights. Of course, there has been a fair share of ups and downs but overall the company has gained immense success and a good reputation in the industry.
Mr. Chopra owns ABC company. Just like Mr. Mehra, even he has managed to generate great profits in the span of 20 years. However, after COVID-19 his company hit an all-time low. The productivity levels of the employees showed a major downfall and many of his employees even resigned.
It is understandable that many businesses suffered the brunt of the pandemic, and Mr. Mehra’s company was not an exception to this unfortunate event. Yet, when the restrictions settled down and the economy started recovering, the XYZ company showed a lot better progress as compared to the ABC company.
When we dig deeper into these differences, it becomes apparent that both companies have a completely different approach to their employees.
The XYZ company follows employee-oriented work culture. It takes into consideration the physical, mental, and financial well-being of the employees. This means that the XYZ company has effective wellness programs, health policies, and timely incentives.
The management system is designed and trained in such a way that it promotes a work culture of fairness and appreciation at all levels. Of course, the company is still made up of human beings and there is a fair share of politics and conflicts, but overall majority of employees feel satisfied and purposeful.
In the ABC company, the work culture is different. The central focus is the results generated by the employees. If the targets are not met for whatsoever reason, the employees are exempted from the incentives and are even criticized for their lack of effort.
Mr. Chopra argues that his company believes in employee wellness. The canteen has amazing food, the employees have access to premium coffee machines and lasted microwave model so that they can have hot and fresh food every day.
Although his efforts toward employee wellness are much appreciated, there is much more to it than providing employees with materialistic things.
Appreciation and encouragement go a long way toward the success of any organization. The employees need to feel resourceful and productive. They need to be reassured that their presence plays an integral part in the success of the company. This encourages them to show more responsibility and accountability in their work.
Another major difference between XYZ company and ABC company is how they handle workplace stress.
Workplace stress is a psychological response to work-related demands and pressures that exceed an individual’s coping abilities. Workplace stress can arise from a variety of factors such as job insecurity, long work hours, high workload, interpersonal conflict, lack of support, and difficult working conditions.
Here are some real-life examples of workplace stress:
1.High workload: An employee working in a sales department has a target to achieve a certain amount of sales every month. Due to a higher target or lack of resources, they find themselves working long hours and skipping breaks to meet the target. This high workload can lead to burnout and exhaustion, resulting in poor performance, decreased job satisfaction, and even physical and mental health issues.
- Provide Adequate Resources: Companies can ensure that their employees have the resources necessary to complete their work efficiently, such as proper equipment, software, and training. Adequate resources can help employees feel more in control of their work, reduce the feeling of overwhelm, and manage workplace stress efficiently.
- Set Realistic Goals: Companies can set achievable goals for their employees and ensure that the workload is distributed evenly across the team. This can help reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed and ensure that employees are not overburdened with work.
- Provide Resources for Stress Management: Companies can provide employees with resources such as counseling, mental health services, and stress management training. This can help employees develop coping mechanisms for handling high workloads and reduce the negative impact of workplace stress.
2. Interpersonal conflict: A team member may experience workplace stress due to conflicts with colleagues or supervisors. This may result from personality differences, communication issues, or disagreements about work methods. The constant tension can create a toxic work environment, decrease team morale, and lead to poor mental health.
- Promote Team Building: Companies can promote team building activities and events to foster positive working relationships among employees. This can help build a sense of community and reduce the likelihood of conflicts
- Provide Training on Emotional Intelligence: Companies can provide training on emotional intelligence to enhance employees’ ability to manage their emotions and handle interpersonal conflicts effectively. Emotional intelligence training can help employees develop the skills necessary to recognize and manage their emotions and those of others. EI training has shown promising results in reducing and managing workplace stress.
- Implement a Conflict Resolution Process: Companies can implement a conflict resolution process that provides clear steps for employees to resolve conflicts. This can help employees feel more in control of the situation and reduce workplace stress levels.
There are several conflict resolution models that companies can use to effectively resolve interpersonal conflicts. One such model is the Interest-Based Relational Approach (IBRA).
IBRA stand for Idenity the problem, Separate interests from positions, Generate options, Evaluate options, and Develop an action plan.
The IBRA model is effective because it focuses on identifying and addressing the underlying interests and needs of each party involved in the conflict. By doing so, it can help find solutions that meet the needs of all parties and promote a positive working relationship.
3. Job insecurity: An employee may feel stressed if they are unsure about the future of their job due to downsizing, company restructuring, or mergers. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, fear, and low morale, as well as physical symptoms such as headaches and fatigue.
- Offer Career Development Opportunities: Companies can offer career development opportunities such as training, mentoring, and coaching. This can help employees acquire new skills, increase their job satisfaction, and feel more secure in their jobs.
- Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits: Companies can offer competitive compensation and benefits packages to employees to help them feel more secure in their jobs. This can include salary increases, bonuses, and benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.
- Provide Regular Feedback and Recognition: Companies can provide regular feedback and recognition to employees to help them feel valued and appreciated. This can help employees feel more secure in their jobs and promote job satisfaction and productivity.
4. Lack of support: An employee may experience workplace stress if they feel that they do not receive adequate support from their employer or colleagues. This can manifest as a feeling of being overwhelmed or unsupported, leading to decreased motivation and productivity.
- Encourage Professional Development: Companies can encourage professional development by offering opportunities for employees to attend workshops, conferences, and training programs. This can help employees improve their skills and knowledge, and feel supported in their career growth.
- Recognize and Reward Achievements: Companies should recognize and reward employees for their achievements and contributions to the company. This can help employees feel supported and valued, and encourage them to continue performing at a high level.
- Foster a Positive Work Environment: Companies should foster a positive work environment that encourages open communication, mutual respect, and inclusivity. This can help employees feel supported and valued by the company and their coworkers.
5. Difficult working conditions: An employee may experience workplace stress if they work in an environment that is physically or mentally demanding. For example, a construction worker may experience stress due to working in harsh weather conditions, or an emergency department nurse may experience stress due to dealing with traumatic situations on a daily basis.
- Provide Access to Mental Health Resources: Employees should have access to mental health resources, such as counseling and therapy services. This can help them manage the emotional demands of their job and cope with workplace stress.
- Implement Self-Care Practices: Employees should be encouraged to engage in self-care practices to manage workplace stress. This can include regular exercise, healthy eating, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques.
- Provide Training on Stress Management: Employees should receive training on stress management techniques, including mindfulness, meditation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. This can help them develop coping skills and manage the emotional demands of their job.
In conclusion, workplace stress can have a profound impact on an individual’s physical and mental health, as well as job performance and satisfaction. It is essential for employers to recognize and address the factors that contribute to workplace stress to create a healthy and productive work environment.
Many successful companies implement employee wellness programs that have immensely boosted job satisfaction, reduced workplace stress and increased the overall performance of the organization.
For instance, Johnson & Johnson has been recognized as a leader in employee wellness programs for over 30 years. They offer a comprehensive wellness program that includes fitness classes, nutrition counseling, and stress management workshops. The program has been shown to reduce healthcare costs and improve employee health outcomes.
Then there is Google. Google offers a wide range of wellness programs to its employees, including on-site fitness centers, healthy food options, and mindfulness training. The company has reported increased employee engagement and productivity as a result of these programs.
Ample research studies and real-life examples demonstrate the numerous benefits of adopting employee wellness programs, including improved physical health, increased productivity, reduced workplace stress, enhanced employee engagement, and improved company culture. Companies that implement comprehensive wellness programs can reap the benefits of a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce.
If Mr. Chopra can realize and understand the importance of employee wellness and its mind-blowing benefits then he can still manage to do some damage control and save his company from hitting the ground. He can continue hiring new employees, but it is no rocket science that there is additional cost and time involved in the process of hiring new employees than helping the existing employees perform better at their work.
How is the work culture at your company? Do you agree with the problems and solutions mentioned in the article? Write down your thoughts in the comments below and start a meaningful conversation that can change the so-called ‘toxic’ work environment found in many corporate companies.