Stress and anxiety are unfortunately common in the workplace, affecting both employees and their leaders alike. The effects of anxiety can lead to decreased productivity, employee turnover, and even burnout.
If you're a leader, there might be more you can do to help out your teams when it comes to reducing workplace stress. In this post, we'll explore practical tips and strategies for founders and managers to help reduce workplace stress for their teams.
Be Pro-Active, Don’t Wait Until Employees are Burnt Out and ‘Quiet Quitting’
In order to retain top talent, leaders need to not only learn how to spot the early signs of burnout but proactively promote (and model) a healthy approach to work/life balance.
Founders and managers need to lead by example and model healthier behavior. Leaders sharing openly about their own experiences with anxiety, stress, and even burnout can also help make employees feel more comfortable with sharing when they’re struggling.
There’s still a lot of stigma around mental health concerns, anxiety included, and employees are often afraid of being seen as lazy or incompetent if they’re struggling.
Here are 5 ways founders and managers can help:
- Encourage employees to speak up and give them clear, safe opportunities to share their struggles and get support.
- Encourage employees to use their paid time off – and consider making it mandatory.
- Have set work hours and don’t work outside of them. Leaders are often the worst about this, but if you don’t do it neither will employees.
- Have fewer team apps and notifications that lead to constant distractions and multi-tasking (which causes lower productivity and more anxiety).
- Create a plan to support employees that need help – don’t just wing it.
Education is key
Educating employees and leaders at all levels of an organization on the signs of anxiety and burnout is crucial. If someone isn’t aware of the signs and symptoms of chronic stress, anxiety, or burnout, it will be harder to recognize in themselves and others before it's too late.
Even short mindset interventions for stress can be incredibly effective at improving performance and morale and reducing stress levels.
Recognize that burnout and imposter syndrome often go hand in hand.
Dr. Sahar Yousef, a Cognitive Neuroscientist at UC Berkeley, believes there’s a clear link between burnout and imposter syndrome. Her research suggests that the root cause of both issues may be related.
Knowing that the two issues often go together (and compound one another) is important to consider and points to the need for more training and clearer processes to prevent both imposter syndrome and burnout.
Here are 5 ways leaders can help this situation:
- Set clear priorities and deadlines for your team.
- Create Standard Operating Procedures and clear processes for every job to ensure everyone is on the same page as to what is expected.
- Transparent decision-making and clear communication are crucial.
- Encourage mentorship and ongoing training and learning opportunities for everyone at the company.
- Encourage employees to celebrate successes large and small. We all want to feel like we’re making progress on meaningful goals and that our work matters.
Ultimately, reducing stress and anxiety in the workplace requires effort and commitment from everyone involved. Founders and managers play a critical role in creating a culture that supports employee well-being and mental health.By prioritizing mental health and taking proactive steps to reduce stress, founders and managers can foster a productive and supportive workplace for their teams. Use the strategies outlined in this post to start creating a healthier work environment and supporting your employees' mental health.
By prioritizing mental health and taking proactive steps to reduce stress, founders and managers can foster a productive and supportive workplace for their teams. Use the strategies outlined in this post to start creating a healthier work environment and supporting your employees' mental health.
For more tips on how to reduce workplace stress, check out this blog post with simple solutions for a healthier work life.