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11 Ways Managers Can Reduce Employee Stress at Work

Your employees are dealing with stress, and we all need to learn how to cope. Even more importantly, we need to know how to reduce it in the workplace. Below we address familiar sources of stress in the workplace, how managers can reduce stress in the workplace, how team members can manage and reduce stress together, and how a financial wellness program like Your Money Line can help. 

Common Sources of Stress in the Workplace

83% of people suffer from work-related stress according to the American Institute of Stress. Stress interferes with your employees’ engagement and productivity while at work. Stress at work is caused by the following: 

  • Low salaries 
  • Excessive workloads
  • Poor support
  • No room for professional growth and development 
  • The tasks at work aren’t engaging or challenging 

As a manager, you need to take initiative and implement things to reduce workplace stress so that you get the most out of your employees. That’s why we listed the 11 ways to reduce stress in the workplace below. 

11 Ways to Reduce Stress in the Workplace

Here are 11 ways to reduce stress in your work environment to get more productive and engaged team members. 

1. Alleviate Heavy Workloads

A heavy workload is physically and emotionally draining. Many employees feel overworked which causes them to experience high-stress levels. Employees have too much on their plates on a daily basis. This causes employees to have poor time management making them think they have to work long hours in order to get everything done. Managers can reduce the workload of their employees to help alleviate some of their stress by setting realistic expectations and being good role models. 

2. Set Clear Goals

As a manager, you must set clear employee expectations and goals. Developing more precise goals means your team members won’t have to guess or worry about their tasks. Setting clear goals helps your employees focus on the task at hand and it will give them peace of mind because they know what they need to focus on and why. 

3. Make Sure People Are in the Right Roles

One reason for stress in the workplace is your employees might not be in the right roles. To manage stress, make sure people are where they should be. If your team members seem unhappy or loathe doing their jobs, they will be less engaged. To ensure that their talents and strengths are aligned with your expectations and the responsibilities of their roles, check in with them regularly. Have casual conversations with your employees about their passions, career goals, and interests to help you assign suitable projects and tasks they will not only do well but enjoy doing. Make sure you follow up with your team members as well to make sure they have the right tools they need to succeed.

4. Implement a Financial Wellness Program

A financial wellness program will help alleviate the financial stress your employees are most likely facing from saving for retirement to paying off student loans, to wanting to purchase a house for the first time. Financial wellness programs reduce employee stress because they provide resources and one-on-one personalized coaching for each one of your employees. Financial wellness is a holistic approach to well-being and focuses on helping employees’ overall life. 

 5. Encourage the Use of Private Workspaces

Open offices allow for distraction and can increase your employees' stress while lowering their productivity levels. An open office concept creates an environment that allows for open discussion and impromptu meetings which might be causing your employees more stress because they can’t focus on their own work as much. By providing private office spaces, you are allowing your employees to decompress and get their job done efficiently. 

6. Add Regular Break Times

Breaks during the workday are essential to reduce stress and increase employee productivity in your workplace. You should encourage your employees to take breaks throughout the day, and step away from their desks to mentally decompress. If your employees are in a lot of meetings, suggest taking short walks before and after. Send out calendar invites that block off time for breaks and lead by example. By allowing employees to take breaks you are allowing them to rest their minds to perform to the best of their ability more consistently. 

7. Provide a Chill Out Zone

Sometimes your team members need 10 or 15 minutes to step away from technology and decompress. Consider providing a quiet room or a chill-out space where your employees can go to sit with their thoughts. By doing this, you can dramatically reduce workplace stress and burnout. After taking a short break, the stress levels of your employees will be lower and they will be able to focus better. Provide a pleasant environment with comfortable seating to increase your employees’ happiness and reduce employee stress at work. 

8. Improve Relationships With Employees

A poor relationship with a manager will cause workplace stress among your employees. When employees don’t like or don’t trust their boss, it causes tension and an unhealthy work environment. Practice open communication with your team members, have regular check-in meetings, and remember to have conversations about all aspects of life beyond work to improve your relationships and reduce stress. 

9. Be Transparent

If your team members are confused about how their work connects to and serves the long-term company goals, they will be stressed and less productive. As a manager, it’s part of your responsibility to help them see the bigger picture in the role they play within the company. Being transparent about the company is essential to reducing stress in the workplace. Open communication will lead to better performance of your employees because they will understand what they are doing to help the company at large. Although sometimes as a manager you can’t disclose everything, make sure you are transparent about why. 

10. Give Employees Autonomy

Give employees control over their tasks and projects. Stress in the workplace can be caused by employees feeling like they have no say in what they are doing. When you give them a choice in tasks, when to do them, and how to do them, your team members are less likely to experience burnout and will reduce stress in the workplace. By letting employees control their work you are also promoting employee engagement within the company. 

11. Lead by Example

One reason employee stress is prominent is because managers set poor examples. Stress in the workplace is caused by managers who are negative, don’t take breaks, work overtime, and don’t promote a healthy work-life balance. You need to make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to decompress and de-stress at the end of the workday because your employees look up to you. Show your employees that it’s okay to take breaks and prioritize yourself when needed. 

Advantages of Preventing Employee Stress

A financial wellness program can help HR professionals reduce employee stress by providing a crucial resource to your employees looking for guidance and help regarding their financial lives. Below are the advantages of preventing employee stress. 

  • Increase awareness of the signs of stress
  • Learning to interrupt behavior patterns when the stress reaction is just beginning 
  • Learning skills of active coping and relaxation 
  • Develop a plan to minimize stressors 
  • Practice the above in low-stress situations first to increase chances of early success and boost self-confidence and motivation to continue. 

At Your Money Line, we provide one-on-one personalized financial guidance and resources to lead your employees to a healthy financial life. We help reduce the stress finances cause your employees by approaching financial wellness holistically and empathetically. Investing in a financial wellness service will reduce employee stress at work. Our Financial Guides, who are all Certified Financial Planners® and/or Accredited Financial Counselors®, will meet your employees wherever they are in their financial journey. 

Request a demo today to help manage employee stress in the workplace.