Stressed Out, Maxed Out, Tuned Out – Tips for Managing Stress

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You hear it on the radio and maybe even in your home. You know the song…It’s the most wonderful time of the year… However, I think for many employees it’s the most stressed out time of the year. What’s ringing in their ears? Year-end deliverables, Q4 wrap up, last push for revenue, performance reviews, 2015 goal setting, yada, yada, yada. All of which can create an overall stress level for your organization.

Stress is inherently neither “good” or “bad”, it just is. Mild to moderate stress can actually help people work at higher levels of productivity, but too much stress can be unhealthy, impact quality of life, and tank productivity levels. Recognizing signs of excessive stress in employees is the first step to managing it and it’s very important that you do or you could be looking at a seriously negative impact on your business.

Recognizing Common Stress Signals

It’s not too difficult to recognize when someone you work with is stressed out. The key is to pay attention to the signals.

  • seeming out of control
  • constant overachieving
  • frequent sick days
  • change in appetite
  • difficulty concentrating
  • lack of input or engagement
  • drinking or smoking more
  • depression, anxiety
  • sudden shift in attitude

10 Tips for Managing Stress on the Job

What can you do to help your employees manage their stress levels? A lot! Here are 10 important ideas that you can implement TODAY to help your employees manage their stress levels.

  1. Define goals and assess progress. This can help them feel more in control.
  2. Establish a support system and check in points.
  3. Allow employee the opportunity to express feelings and ask for what they need. Just talking about it can help.
  4. Help employees establish priorities and identify the areas where they can say “no”.
  5. Plan problem solving meetings with employees once a week until their stress levels drop.
  6. Encourage employees to exercise and get more rest.
  7. Come up with ways to have fun and laugh. Send a funny card, go to the movies, go out to lunch, etc.
  8. Identify what is the problem source and brainstorm ways to manage it.
  9. Encourage them to use the EAP.
  10. Have them keep a time log of what they are spending their time on, how many interruptions they get per day, meetings, phone calls, etc.

BONUS TIP: Offer them a course in Time Management (PRC can do that for you!).

It is our hope that you will use these tips for managing stress to have real conversations with your employees about their stress levels and take real measures to improve them. Your employees are the heart and lifeline of your company, take care of them.

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