Interested in Reducing Stress for your people and you?
Ask yourself these questions;
Is everybody happy at work?
Are you sure? Are your people stressed out?
Are you Stressed out?
Did you know that too much stress is bad for you? Stress can lead to depression and much worse.
Often you take that stress home where it impacts your family life and you know what? Your people do as well.
The impact on your business in sick days, turnover and culture can be huge and costly.
Stress when not tackled can lead to depression and much worse to an individual. It is also contagious and can lead to cultural decline in your organisation.
Reducing Stress is a must for all managers, leaders and our people.
Let’s look at the impact and what you can do about looking after your people.
The impact on you and your employee’s health can be significantly negative and in some cases extreme.
Impact – the Human Cost
World Health Organization (WHO) Facts on depression brought on by stress
- 322 million people worldwide were affected by depression in 2015 — 4.4 percent of the world’s population.
- Stress and depression can have a serious impact on mental health.
- Serious mental health issues can lead to suicide.
- Each year approximately one million people die from suicide, one death every 40 seconds.
- It is predicted that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds.
These are alarming statistics from across the globe show that suicide rates are climbing. We should encourage our employees to ask for help and we should not be afraid of asking for ourselves. We should be more attuned to our people and how they are coping in this Digital Age where everything changes so fast.
Impact – the Business Cost
Occupational stress cost the US economy an estimated $300 billion in 2016, this was the result of;
- Employee turnover
- Diminished productivity
- Direct medical, legal, and insurance costs
- Changing Attitudes to Mental Health, Stress and Depression
Historically there has been a reluctance by people to raise their hand and ask for help
Prince Harry, a well known supporter of mental health improvement organisations encouraged people to not suffer in silence and to ‘Ask for help’.
“You must not silently suffer and, if I may speak personally, we are all in this together, because asking for help was some of the best decisions I ever made.”—Prince Harry
Positive Prince Harry and his advice to reduce stress
Prince Harry was speaking at Dubbo, a farming community in Australia that has been hit by a vicious 2-year drought. Prince Harry was talking of his own battle with mental health issues and his campaign to raise awareness as well as the challenges faced in that community.
Still a Sign of Weakness
Attitudes may be changing, however for a large majority of the working population it is a sign of weakness to admit that you are stressed and that you need help.
Making sure that your people have an open and supporting workplace environment goes a long way for your people to ask directly for help.
But if they don’t ask, how can you tell if your employees are actually stressed?
What you can Look out for
Some people hide the stress well, however in others it may be more easy to spot. Look for these tell tale signs with your people.
- Having no appetite, not eating well
- Looking unnaturally pale and unhealthy
- Eating too much unhealthy foods
- Being overly tired and not sleeping
- Drinking more caffeine/energy boosting drinks than normal
Emotions can often be the first thing that people will notice if one of your employees is stressed, such as;
- Lost their sense of humor
- Losing their temper more than usual
- Losing the ability to concentrate
- Trouble making decisions
What to do about it
If you notice someone exhibiting these signs of stress, ask them if they are ok. Speak openly to them.
- Ask them how they feel – you will receive priceless information that helps you open a dialogue and start relieving their stress levels.
- Try having a conversation about what’s troubling them by asking questions and listening. Offer care and support, and reassure them that you want to support and treat them fairly while respecting their privacy.
- If you’re concerned about someone and their possible suicidal thoughts or intentions, it is important to give support and assist them in getting help.
What you can do immediately Reducing Stress
Reducing Stress takes many forms, Leaders can focus on adding value to their people’s lives by encouraging them to use these areas of improvement to reduce their stress levels. .
- Encourage exercise of the body and mind – by encouraging your people to exercise or engage in mindfulness
- Turn off those emails outside of work – there needs to be a cut off from the stress of everyday life for your people and you.
- Focus on Unitasking – Multitasking, once the darling of the elite is rapidly being shown to slow down productivity and produce ill informed decisions. Focus on one thing at a time by using a planning tool such as this.
- Show empathy and compassion – Understand that your employees are not just resources, but people. They are members of your work family and deserve to be treated with respect.
Don’t Stop There
A recent Gallup report that surveyed 105 teams of six for three-month periods found individual team members who reported experiencing well-being were 20 percent more likely to have other team members experience the same within six months.
Most importantly encouraging a positive work place environment and Reducing Stress levels to your people is contagious and will impact others in your organisation.
- Maintain open lines of communication – so that you can offer support and address issues before they become full-blown problems.
- Help all team members manage their professional obligations – so they can meet their personal needs, allowing them to be present and focused on their work when they are in the office.
- Keep on questioning – Don’t assume that you have all the information you need if you’ve asked people once whether they’re happy. Circumstances inside and outside of the workplace change over time, and feelings can evolve accordingly.
Other Resources for Reducing Stress