Stress. It’s a modern malady which can have serious personal, professional and social consequences. It can sneak up on people, affecting their ability to perform their duties effectively and damaging professional and personal relationships. It’s worth every company’s time to proactively address stress as a component of policy and employee care. With a plan in place, it’s far less likely that stressed out employees will leave or take prolonged LOAs to manage the fallout of stress. These tips to prevent the pitfalls of stressed out employees are offered in the interest of helping you help your employees.
Stress leads to disengagement. When people come to work overwrought under the burden of life realities, it’s difficult to cope with what’s going on at work. Gallup’s research shows that disengagement costs approximately $500 million every year in terms of productivity. That’s a big number, so smart companies are stepping up. They’re training their managers to spot the signs of stress and the disengagement it engenders. Managerial vigilance and intervention can prevent costly turnover and keep key talent from burning out. Managers can be trained to spot warning signs like a change in the employee’s normal personality. If someone who was outgoing is suddenly withdrawn, that’s a red flag. Stress can also lead to a decline in self-care. Your once sartorially on point employee coming in looking like they slept outside is a pretty obvious sign of a problem. Serial tardiness, or not showing up at all are other signs that stress has taken hold.
Training your managers to be vigilant is just the tip of the iceberg. But if your company hasn’t established a culture of open communication, that manager’s vigilance may not have the power to impact the situation. Open communication between stressed out employees and their managers shouldn’t be established when there’s a problem. It should to be established from the inception of the relationship as part of a healthy workplace culture. The cause of most misunderstandings and dysfunction in any given workplace is a lack of clear, open communication, so making this a cultural imperative is key to managing employee stress.
Our society tends to be about results. When we don’t get those results, we bridle. But part of getting the result you want means having the ability to engage with other people on a human level. Crucial to that ability are the lost arts of compassion and empathy. These are egregiously undervalued in our society, with catastrophic consequences. Training managers to not only notice the signs of stress but to approach employees from a position of compassion and empathy is key to reaching out effectively and creating a safe space for employees to share the source of the problem. Finally, recognition and reward figure prominently in the mental health of all employees. Again, your culture should reflect the human need to be appreciated and rewarded for effort. Incentive Travel Group has been creating winning incentive programs for over 20 years. Contact us to find out more.