If you would like your business to employ highly motivated and high-energy level employees then investing in the workplace atmosphere and facilities will help and will reduce work-place stress significantly. Research confirms that if your employees are stressed then that will cost you even more money in missed workdays and increased on-the-job injuries over both the short term and the long term.
In addition to the negative repercussions of having stressed-out employees, your business may be experiencing lower productivity and poor quality of output. It is both clear and obvious that some very cost effective strategies could minimize stress on the job and provide your employees with opportunities to reduce other stress-related problems.
Below is a list of 6 ways in which you can help your company reduce stress for your employees while increasing the output of your business:
1. Provide an attractive and comfortable work environment whenever possible to reduce stress. Pleasant surroundings can do more for a person’s attitude then we often realize. Create a less formal atmosphere by adding plants or improved decoration, even if that is just in a restroom it will help. Avoid a chaotic atmosphere whenever possible. Even minor distractions can deter performance if it is ongoing.
2. Supply a quiet room for your employees to take their breaks in. This room should be separate from the normal "hustle and bustle" of the work-place. It will give your employees an opportunity for a quick 10-minute break from work and any work-related stress that they may be experiencing.
3. Instead of giving orders 100% of the time try to create opportunities for employees to make decisions that will directly affect their job performance. This gives them a sense of personal power and less stress because they feel they have some control.
4. Thank your employees for work accomplished and recognize them for exemplary performance. A quick thank you will go a long way in reducing complaints and stress. Be genuine and only thank when workers have worked well otherwise you will be rewarding substandard activities.
5. Always value your employee's time. While some jobs require meetings and overtime, I have met far too many upper-management team members who think a weekly meeting is mandatory. While it may be, there is no reason to schedule a four-hour meeting when you can cover it all in one hour. Or better yet, send out an email if that's all it will take. If employees feel the meeting is a waste of time, they will get nothing out of it. Change things up when you can by opening with a short icebreaker game, or bring in a guest speaker sometimes with a different approach and point of view (and yes, I would be happy to come to your next company gathering and do that).
6. Go out of your way to create opportunities for the employees to use their individual gifts and talents at work. Everyone has outside interests, and it amazes me as to how talented some people are while still living in relative obscurity. If it's time to upgrade some office decorations, use paintings done by talented employees. Do you need some copy editing done on a manual? Why not see if someone on the staff is a skilled writer with an eye (and desire) for editing? If the employees feel personally invested in the company, they are more likely to stay and more likely to be your cheerleader in bad times.
When staff realizes you have their interests in mind and are doing all you can to improve working conditions they will respond and you will see an improved atmosphere and productivity.