We all experience stress, and we all react to stress in different ways. For some of us, our hearts race, our palms sweat or worse. Others may have trouble eating or sleeping. Regardless of how stress manifests itself, we should all seek ways to manage stressors in our lives, and one area we can focus on is the workplace.
In a recent article in Harvard Business Review, Natalia Peart, a clinical psychologist, consultant and author, provides stress-reducing suggestions for workplaces to help avoid employee burnout. Following are a few of them:
- Increase psychological safety. Help make employees feel mentally safe by setting clear expectations and goals, making sure everyone knows you want their voices to be heard, and creating an environment that is equally challenging and unthreatening.
- Build in regular break times. Science says the human brain only can focus for 90–120 minutes before it needs rest. Make sure your office employees step away from their desks or take short walks every few hours. Consider sending calendar invites to remind them to do so. When you allow employees’ brains to rest, they can perform better for you.
- Give as much autonomy as you can. When you can, give employees as much control as possible over their projects. Peart says: “Employees are 43% less likely to experience high levels of burnout when they have a choice in deciding what tasks to do, when to do them and how much time to spend on each.”
- Create a culture of recognition. When people are recognized for their hard work and contributions, stress levels decrease and feelings of connection and belonging increase. “Research has shown that companies with high-recognition cultures perform better and have less turnover than those that don’t,” Peart says.
Try implementing a few of these suggestions—taking some simple steps to reduce workplace stress can have many positive effects for your company and employees.
Ambika Puniani Reid is editor of Professional Roofing and NRCA's vice president of communications and production.