Let’s face it: work can be incredibly stressful sometimes. In fact, self-reported workplace stress is higher now than it’s been at any other time in the past decade according to Gallup’s annual State of the Workplace report. While there are many contributing factors to work-related stress (e.g. heavy workload, dangerous conditions), perhaps the most often overlooked source is interpersonal relationships. This is stress that results from inadequate support, poor communication, lack of recognition, or other unresolved conflict in the workplace and can have a lasting negative impact on the entire organization.
So what’s the best way to address this type of workplace stress?
It may sound obvious, but consistently showing gratitude to your team members is the first step in cultivating a more positive (and less stressful) work environment. Simple statements such as, “Thank you for showing me how to fix that,” or “I appreciate you showing up on time and prepared” helps reinforce positive actions and lets others know that they are valued. And with November being National Gratitude Month, what better time than now to start practicing gratitude in the workplace?
Set Aside Time with Your Team
While the recent rise in remote work certainly has its benefits (e.g. flexibility in schedules, less time spent commuting), it also has its downsides. Teams now spend less time interacting in-person and as a result lose out on the beneficial social interactions that a shared work environment provides. To help alleviate the stress that can result from this digital distancing, it’s important to dedicate regular times for both group interactions and one-on-ones between employees and leadership. This can come in the form of team outings, group volunteering, friendly competition (e.g. in-office fantasy football), and weekly check-ins.
Celebrating wins in the workplace is one of the TeamWRX core values for a reason! According to a three-year survey of 1.7 million employees, the most important driver behind consistently great work is recognition. Not only can recognition aid in retaining talent, increasing engagement, and encouraging high performance, but it also fosters positive emotions that lead to higher job satisfaction (and one can assume, less stress). Ways to celebrate wins include verbal and written praise, awards or promotions, and team celebrations.
Have Designated Communication Channels
A lack of reliable, centralized communication within the workplace is not only stress-inducing, but also incredibly costly to companies over time. By replacing outdated systems and incorporating a company-wide communication platform, organizations can quickly cut down on response times as well as complete lapses in communication that sometimes arise from having multiple communication touch points. Communication and scheduling platforms like Casi also have the added benefit of automating FAQs and announcement scheduling. This allows organizations to offer immediate responses and to send out company-wide or segmented notifications, ensuring that employees always feel heard and stay in the loop.
Workplace stress is a common occurrence. However, taking the right steps to help prevent and mitigate it can result in both happier employees and a stronger team!