How To Help Your Employees Manage Stress

August 22, 2017 - 11:00 am
  In today’s globalized marketplace, San Francisco-based small business owners need every competitive edge they can get. That means keeping overhead costs low, consistently searching for ways to generate new opportunities and maintaining a highly productive workforce. Numerous studies have found that one surefire way for employers to improve employee productivity, ingenuity, and cooperation is to reduce their stress levels. Here are few tips on how small business owners can do just that.   Be the Kind of Leader People Want to Follow Every company experiences waves of success and adversity, but to keep productivity steady regardless of external factors, workers need strong leaders that they can believe in. A 2012 study found that workers who feel supported instead of stressed out by their leaders are between 20-30 percent more productive than employees who are saddled with uninspiring leadership. To cultivate the faith of your team, you should be accessible, set clear goals and expectations, welcome feedback, and recognize the achievements of individual employees.   Let Your Employees Rest, Relax and Recharge With the widespread adoption of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile electronic devices, it’s easier than ever for small business owners to stay in contact with their employees 24/7. However, while it’s useful to have open lines of communication, founders should be wary of cultivating an “always-on” company culture. A study conducted by McKinsey Quarterly found that employees who find their off-the-clock hours consumed with work-related activities are less productive, less creative, and more disengaged. If you don’t want to contribute to the estimated $550 billion that US industry loses to employee disengagement every year, give your team plenty of time to rest, relax, and recharge.   Put a Stop to Multitasking Historically, the ability to multitask has been seen as an asset. It was an indicator that an employee possessed mental dexterity and a high level of engagement. However, science has shown that giving equal attention to two separate tasks at the same time is impossible. In actuality, trying to do two things at once leaves the brain scattered and unfocused, a state that results in lower work efficiency and quality. To counteract this, you should advise your team to tackle tasks one at a time. And to keep distractions, such as keeping up with social media updates, to an absolute minimum.   Launch a Workplace Wellness Program One of the most effective ways to fight stress is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Small business owners can help their employees stay healthy by instituting a workplace wellness program. These simple and relatively inexpensive initiatives involve doing things like making healthy snacks available at work, incentivizing weight loss and smoking cessation, offering discount gym memberships, bringing in guest healthy living lecturers, and leading group exercise sessions. In return for cultivating a healthy workplace culture, studies have found that employers can expect lower rates of absenteeism, improved morale and company loyalty, and a notable increase in productivity. Ultimately, making sure your team is as stress-free as possible is an investment in your company’s long-term success. If you are serious about increasing your company's productivity and profitability, a good place to start is by making your workplace as stress-free as possible.   Canopy Health is a community of caregivers creating an integrated healthcare experience where quality care and coverage are provided by an alliance of top caregivers throughout the Bay Area. They offer refreshingly clear, human care that is achieved by making each unique member’s journey predictable, transparent, and cost-effective. For more tips and inspiration for small business owners, visit Small Business Pulse SF Bay Area.