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Use these 5 secret tips to cut employees' stress and boost your profits

 

Stress on the job can hurt company profits. It can result in low morale, disruption, illness and disability. It can even mean burn out and quitting.

Here are steps you can take to cut stress for your staff and enable them to be content in  their work and thereby become more productive. Your profit line will thank you.

• Improve communications between workers and management

Studies have shown that nothing raises the stress level in a company more than when workers feel they are working in a vacuum. With no feedback from the boss, they are often unsure whether they are on the right track, whether they are not working hard enough, or whether they are regarded as of less value than other employees.

Most employees want to know that they are appreciated for the work they do.

It is important, therefore that you let employees know how they are doing and that they are valued. Even if your comments have to be negative at times, it is better to let them know how they can improve than complaining about them behind their backs.

• Allow workers to chat freely among themselves

Even though workers might be seen as talking when they could be getting on with their work, the benefits of allowing conversation will pay off in added productivity. Without such communication, problems can develop  because the workers do not know one another and can see the others as hostile and unfriendly.

Communication between employees also helps resolve personal conflicts that can lead to bad vibes in an office.

• Give employees as much control over their work as you can

Workers enjoy having the ability to make decisions.

• Provide sufficient workers to cope adequately

You might be saving money by having one person do the work of two, but the stress on the worker will mean that, in the long run, you will lose money. Being rushed, a worker under such stress will treat customers rudely, make mistakes, and even quit.

• Be generous with benefits

Research shows that those employees who have sufficient time for vacation, daily breaks and illness are better able to cope with the inevitable stress that comes with many jobs.

Try these office stress-relieving tips

Biztips news staff

We've gathered together a few ways in which both staff and management can reduce stress in the office. Try them out.

Favorites List

Choose a central location in the office and post a blank sheet of paper with the words "Favorite Movie" across the top.

Encourage employees to list their name with their favorite movie. People are entertained by reading their colleagues' choices.

Each day start a new list. Suggestions from managers who have used this technique include: favorite food, book, restaurant, sport, vacation spot and dream car.

This activity builds a sense of community as co-workers share their interests. People will begin to know each other better and even discover similarities.

 

Element of surprise

Relieve the pressure of overtime and extra work by randomly surprising your employees with special favors.

A welcomed surprise might be letting someone go home an hour early or take an extra hour at lunch. Offer to cover for them and let them enjoy the surprise.

Use the 'Favorites List' to find out what they like and surprise them with flowers, movie tickets or a favorite candy bar.

This technique is effective only when it's not part of the usual work day and the employee is not expecting it. Remember, it's a gift. And don't leave anyone out!

—Top two tips are from: Cecilia Macdonald, speaker, trainer and presentation coach.

 

Set realistic deadlines

Avoid creating artificial pressure. If something is really not urgent, tell an employee, 'I need this only at the end of the month.'

Although some employees might be inclined to work only on deadline, many will pace themselves well. Get to know your workers so that you do not set unrealistic deadlines on those who will only stress because of them. The results might suffer as a result.

 

Learn how to say no

If you find that you are swamped with work, accept that you can only do so much. By doing too much work you run the risk of doing it badly.

In saying 'no,' use body language. When you are asked to undertake an additional task, for example, first shake your head so you get your point across.

Be honest,  offer an explanation, and don't be defensive.

 

Check out these books on workplace stress:

 

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