4 Ways To Manage Stress At Work And Reenergize Your Team

In today’s workforce, more than a third of Americans experience chronic job stress, while only 36% report that they are provided the resources to help them manage stress at work.

Employee workplace stress isn’t just a personal issue. How your team feels at work can have a big impact on productivity, engagement, and even your bottom line—to the tune of up to $187 billion a year for U.S. business owners. In contrast, taking steps to reduce employee stress can bring business up: happy employees are 13% more productive

Table of Contents

Before jumping into how to manage stress in the workplace for you and your employees, let’s talk about what it is and how to identify where it may be coming from. 

What is workplace stress?

Workplace stress is when an employee doesn’t really have control over meeting the demands of their job. It’s basically a mismatch between what a job requires and the capabilities or needs of the employee. The worker doesn’t have what they need to fulfill the job, or they have no control over an aspect of the job that creates a physical or emotional response. 

And if you think that’s not the case in your business, think again. 83% of U.S. workers suffer from work-related stress and 54% say that job stress affects their home life.

What may be causing stress in the workplace?

There are plenty of sources of workplace stress, from lack of social support to work that isn’t challenging. But the main culprits are typically unclear performance expectations,  little control over decisions, and excessive workloads. Low salaries also top that list. 

One way to help your employees manage stress at work is to offer on-demand pay, which can help alleviate concerns when emergencies pop up. On-demand pay is when you offer your employees access to a  portion of their earned wages right after they work a shift. You can use a third-party app, like When I Work, to facilitate on-demand pay without having to change your payroll processes.  

4 ways to manage stress at work

Stress management in the workplace can be broken down into four different categories. Think about what might apply to your business and how you can help alleviate some job stress for your employees so that they’re happier and more productive.

1. Relaxation

The first way to reduce stress in the workplace is to promote a culture of relaxation. Make sure your employees feel comfortable communicating with you (and each other) openly about what they need. Giving your workers appropriate rest is important, too. Avoid clopening shifts and ensure your employees are taking enough breaks.  

Related read: Why Employee Burnout Is Harmful To Your Business

2. Mindfulness

Being mindful as a manager is all about staying in the present moment and being open to new possibilities. It’s also about accepting yourself for who you are and adopting a growth mindset that shows you failures are learning opportunities, not a reflection of your character. It’s also important to remind your employees of these things, too, so they don’t take on unnecessary added stress.

Related read: A Manager’s Guide To Mental Health In the Workplace

3. Positivity 

Rethink negative feedback or criticism when it wants to bubble up. How can you frame that feedback in a positive way so that it does more good than harm? You can still give your employees direction when they need it, but the key is to frame it in a positive way that points out how they can do something right, not what they’re doing wrong. Think of it as saying “try doing it this way” instead of “no, don’t do that!” 

Related read: 18 Simple Ways To Keep A Positive Attitude At Work

4. Problem-solving 

Finding solutions to problems at work, instead of constantly complaining about them, is one of the fastest ways to manage workplace stress. For example, maybe your employees are overworked, and you spend way too much time building the schedule each week.

When they come to you with their concerns, instead of constantly saying you’re doing your best and it’s too much work to redo the schedule to accommodate everyone, try solving the problem. An employee scheduling software solution like When I Work can give them more control over their schedules, increasing employee satisfaction. And you’ll save time building the schedule, so you can focus on everything else you need to get done. Problem solved.

Related read: How To Be A Good Leader At Work: The Mini-Guide

How to reenergize your team 

Identifying and relieving stress in the workplace is helpful, but you can level up by completely reenergizing your team as well. You don’t have to spend a lot of extra cash to show your employees you care. 

A large part of reenergizing your team involves thinking of your employees’ well-being and bringing fun back into the workplace. Here’s a list of ideas that you can try, starting today: 

  • Host a team fitness challenge—exercise can actually give your team an extra edge, helping them stay calm in stressful situations and solve problems on their feet faster. 
  • Invite over some furry friends—just petting a dog can help lower blood pressure and feelings of depression, so reach out to your local animal rescue and see if they’d be willing to bring in a few friendly dogs for an hour or two.
  • Find 20 minutes to joke around—spending 20 minutes laughing together decreases stress and increases memory recall, so set aside some time for your team to kick back and share their favorite jokes.
  •  Get organized—This can increase energy, reduce stress, and reduce your risk of a heart attack, so tackle any deep cleaning or DIY projects on the to-do list at your workplace.
  • Host a mindfulness workshop—it turns out the more you meditate, the less a stress hormone called ACTH may exist in your blood and the more gray matter you’ll add to your mind, so you’ll be getting more peace of mind, literally.
  • Give them time for passion projects—give your employees a set number of hours this month to devote to passion or side-of-desk projects and then bring them together to share the outcomes.
  • Switch things up—bring back some spontaneity by giving your employees a chance to mix things up in their work routines by assigning them to a different role or incorporating a new skill into their daily tasks.
  • Scale back on the “tough love”—if you generally take a hardline approach to your manager/employee relationships, focus on leading with empathy and you may find your employees (and your customers) better for it.
  • Ask for their honest feedback—set aside some time this month to talk to each employee one on one to ask how they’re doing and dig for a real answer. 
  • Practice the “6 for every 1” rule—challenge your team to bring some positivity into all their interactions with coworkers and put the “6 positive comments for every 1 negative comment” rule into action.

Conclusion on managing stress at work

There are many reasons stress can arise in the workplace; the best thing is to be aware and be sure you’re keeping a pulse on it—connect with your team about how they’re feeling. Listen to what they have to say and if you need to, find ways to incorporate more ways to help them manage workplace stress.

If employee scheduling is your source of stress right now, costing you hours and hours of your week, give When I Work a try, FREE, for 14-days. You’ll get faster scheduling, easier time tracking, and better employee communication. Sign up for your free 14-day trial now.

Article Image
/Human Resources

7 Tips for Helping Employees That Are Burnt Out

Article Image
/Business Growth

Are Your Labor Costs Out of Control?

Article Image
/Human Resources

Fair Workweek: What You Need to Know

Article Image
/Human Resources

Applicant Tracking System (ATS): Everything You Need to Know

Article Image
/Small Business Blog

37 Employee Appreciation Ideas Your Staff Will Love

Article Image
/Human Resources

How to Write Up an Employee in 8 Easy Steps