Employers are responsible for their team’s physical health and safety, but the mental health of the workforce is just as important. Understanding how stress can impact an individual and providing the necessary support can make all the difference to someone who is suffering. Stress can affect a person’s behavior, ability to concentrate, and performance at work. As stress-related anxiety is best dealt with in the earliest stages, the warning signs should never be ignored.
Ideally, your team members should feel confident in discussing their feelings with you, and it can be done in an informal, confidential way. Once you know what is causing the problem, you can work towards a solution with that individual. However, to prevent stress from becoming a wider issue, it makes sense to maintain a supportive atmosphere continually.
What causes stress at work?
People are affected by many aspects of their working life, from conflicts with other employees to demanding shift patterns and organizational change. Some of these stress factors can be removed, while others can only ever be minimized. Here are a few ways to begin the process.
Maintain a safe and secure working environment
Support can include practical steps that make an office or workshop a better place to be. This helps reassure people who are already experiencing stress and lowers the chance of stressful situations becoming the norm. Many employers promote safety and productivity with the help of drug and alcohol testing lab services. The Matrix Diagnostics laboratory delivers fast, accurate results that an end-user can monitor, thanks to the company’s customer portal. Staff working with potentially dangerous or heavy equipment will be reassured by regular testing – it confirms that no one is impaired, and the risk of accidents is minimal.
Allow employees to enjoy a good work-life balance
As well as helping to grow a business, staff should feel able to socialize out of work and pursue their interests. It sounds like a simple idea, but it can need safeguarding. Employers can do this by banning work emails during home hours, urging staff to leave on time most days, and creating more flexible working hours. Working from home is a good option for employees who live further away and want to avoid a stressful commute. Providing this level of freedom is also excellent for morale. It proves to individuals that they are listened to, cared for and trusted by management.
Nurture a healthy lifestyle
Along with a good night’s sleep, a healthy lifestyle and diet can help lessen the impact of stress. Encouraging your staff to make positive lifestyle changes can be as simple as providing healthy snacks or as ambitious as offering subsidized gym memberships. Group workouts, walk-to-work schemes, and sponsored events can also help build social bonds between employees. Even a 10-minute stroll during the lunch break is enough to boost a person’s mood and tackle feelings of stress.