Stress is a serious issue that business owners must actively mitigate. According to NIOSH Report, 80% of American workers feel stressed out in their jobs, and this may be particularly true in a startup environment. In a startup, individuals may be asked to take on more responsibilities because of a limited staff and may feel greater pressure to excel in their tasks for the sake of the struggling business. When workers are stressed out, they may feel tension, lose focus and develop a low morale. Absenteeism may increase, and they may even seek medical attention for headaches, fatigues and more. Serious instances of stress can manifest in heart conditions, substance abuse, sleep issues and other issues.
Compensation over workplace-related stress has soared significantly over the years. A claim for stress at work can cost your business a small fortune. With this in mind, you must figure how to manage stress levels for your employees. These ideas may help with your effort to reduce compensation for stress at work.
Set Reasonable, Company-Wide Goals
A common cause of stress in the workplace relates to the internal drive many workers may feel to earn a living. Some workplaces create an environment where the workers simply work to make money, but many find it more beneficial to work toward a common and greater goal, such as a company-wide production or sales goal. This takes the pressure of the individual to focus on a paycheck and instills a sense of purpose in the team as a whole.
Empower Your Employees Within Their Positions or Departments
Workers may also feel a significant amount of stress when they have mounting piles of tasks to complete but have minimal ability to actually complete those tasks. Some positions are created to seek managerial approval on many tasks. While some oversight is important, it is also important to allow workers to make decisions on their own. Empowerment is critical to creating a low-stress environment. While it may seem counter-intuitive to place the burden of decision-making on stressed out individuals, this actually enables them to work more efficiently and to complete tasks to the best of their abilities rather than constantly seeking approval. Seeking approval can cause stress.
Re-Adjust Your Compensation Structure
Many workplaces have instituted a compensation structure that is at least partially based on individual performance. For example, it is common for a sales professional to receive a commission-based structure based on their sales performance. It can be beneficial to the company to encourage individuals for their performance and even to pay workers for what they are able to actually accomplish. However, this understandably places a great deal of pressure on the individual. Another idea is to create a team-based compensation structure. This may be based on the production of an entire department or division rather than on a single individual.
Implement Wellness Programs
Companies that are serious about exploring solutions for how to control stress may implement wellness programs. For example, you may set one day a month when all workers receive short messages at their desks, or you may plan a quarterly retreat to get everyone out of the office. You may also offer a few more vacation days each year as part of a compensation package. Bringing in a yoga expert to lead the team in a few poses each week can also be helpful. You may not realize it, but helping others can also instill a sense of peace and greater purpose in your team. This plays a direct role in stress reduction. Consider supporting a charity and encouraging your workers to participate in various projects or fundraisers.
Everyone will feel some level of stress on the job. Stress is a normal reaction that everyone feels, but it can unfortunately get out of hand. It is wise to pay attention to your workers’ actions for a few days to determine their stress level and overall satisfaction with their jobs. The last thing you want is to deal with a claim for stress at work or to have your top talent quit because the environment is too stressful for them to work in. Take time to analyze the situation today, and consider implementing some of these solutions to improve the stress level in your work environment.
About the Author
Paige Ellingson edits and writes for Carter Capner Law. Paige studied business and communication and proceeded to work in a fast-pace and upscale company in Hong Kong. Her passion for helping people and business in all aspects of content marketing flows through in the job role she is in.