Employees are undoubtedly experiencing greater stress levels than in the past few decades. Over the past few years, we’ve experienced a global pandemic, witnessed an outbreak of war in Europe, and dealt with ever-increasing inflation and interest rates.
Employee stress levels are at all-time highs, but companies can take action to lower them. Here are a few options to consider if you see more frazzled workers in your company.
1. Offer Company-Provided Support Options
One of the best things employers can do to support stressed workers is to provide subsidized mental health care programs.
In a supportive care program, workers can speak to therapists about their problems in a confidential environment. They can share their worries, whether they’re dealing with financial difficulties, relationship issues, or worries surrounding global events.
One example of an organization that offers employee-based programs is Pathways Health and Community Support, a recent acquisition of Cyrus Nikou’s Atar Capital firm. The company’s Pathways at Work offers workplace-centered well-being seminars, along with access to other mental health resources.
Offering a mental wellness program shows employees that you care about their mental health and gives them the means to address stress quickly before it becomes a more significant concern.
2. Provide Liberal PTO Options
Sometimes, employees simply need a few days off to recover from burnout and acute work stress. Giving employees the flexibility to take a four-day weekend (or even a full week) away from work pressures may be all they need to regroup and return to the office with renewed vigor.
To improve the efficiency of your PTO program, emphasize that anyone can take time off when needed. Establish some basic guidelines, like providing a week or two’s notice before they use their PTO. Your employees will be grateful for the opportunity to step away from their duties and indulge in some much-needed self-care.
3. Encourage Activities Outside of Work
Encouraging stronger relationships between your staff members doesn’t just improve the atmosphere in the office. It can also alleviate stress.
Designate a few days each month for company-sponsored activities, like Happy Hour drinks or a pre-paid lunch. You can also provide a monthly day off for participating in local volunteer activities, like cleaning up a nearby park or supporting a charity for veterans.
When your team gets away from the office in an environment conducive to building relationships, they’ll relax and enjoy their time. When you prioritize extra-office activities, you’re encouraging your workers to leave the stresses of work behind and enjoy activities that benefit their well-being.
4. Provide Scheduling Flexibility
Sometimes, the work schedule can be a major source of stress for employees. For instance, if your office opens promptly at 8 a.m. but one of your workers needs to get their kids to school at the same time, it may increase their stress levels. Similarly, others may benefit from an earlier start time to leave work before rush hour hits.
If your employee’s jobs aren’t dependent on specific working hours, allow them to set their schedules.
For example, employees with morning responsibilities might benefit from a 9:30 a.m. start time, while those who prefer an early schedule could start at 7 a.m. or earlier. You’ll find your workers are happier when they can design a schedule that reflects their individual responsibilities and preferences.
Stress Isn’t Avoidable, but You Can Help Employees Manage It
While you can’t change your workers’ feelings, you can provide tools to help them manage their stress better. Consider offering them more PTO and implementing mental wellness programs that help them find solutions to improving their mental health. They’ll thank you for it.