Stress in the workplace is a growing problem. Time and time again, hard-working employees hit the wall and lose all ability to perform. These employees show few outward signals prior to collapsing, as they want to impress and succeed. Any sign of weakness can be misinterpreted, and thus, they keep it to themselves.
According to the Health and Safety Executive one in six employees finds their work situation to be very or highly stressful. This means, in larger companies, the effects can be quite large. The same study calculates that 10.5 million sick days can be linked to stress-related. The costs of these sick days and performance can be enormous for both large companies and small companies.
There are many options open to companies to tackle the issue of stress before it grows out of control. Several of these can offer employees different ways to cope with stress both in the workplace and at home. These methods can be provided by an employer and have showed a great deal of success at large companies.
1) Relaxation techniques: Learned relaxation techniques can help employees deal with stressful situations. These techniques can consist of breathing methods, short walks outside, and meditation classes. These relaxation techniques can be learned or encouraged by management.
2) Organising and prioritising: Allow employees to organise and prioritise in a way that benefits both you and the employee. By letting them structure their day in a way they feel is manageable the results can be improved. Often times organisers and time-management specialists can help give structure.
3) Access to exercise: employees who exercise regularly are better able to cope with stress. Access to a gym, yoga classes, or aerobics can pay back ten-fold in cutting the number of sick-days.
4) Self-hypnosis: A learned technique that can create more focused employees capable of dealing with stress. The technique allows the employee to focus on problems and issues at work as they arise. This often requires work with a licensed professional, but once the employees have learned the skills, they can use them without added expense in the future.
Each of these methods involves a basic investment in the employee that increases initial costs for the employer, but according to the HSE study, these costs will come back to the employer in the amount of sick-days retained. Also, having healthier and happier employes can only enhance quality of performance. Any combination of the above techniques to reduce stress should see a result.