According to the American Institute of Stress, workplace stress costs U.S. industries around $300 billion every year and is on the rise as workdays get longer, workers work harder, and job insecurity continues to increase. If you want to mitigate workplace stress at your organization, here are a few best practices to keep in mind.
1. Extend Flexible Work Options
The American Institute of Stress reports 20% of workers claim that having to juggle their work lives with their personal lives is the main cause of their stress. Research and studies continue to indicate that flexible work arrangements and schedules lead to less stressed employees who are more productive.
Eighty-seven percent of professionals think having a flexible job would lower their stress, and 97% say a job with flexibility would have a positive impact on their overall quality of life. Companies that implement flexible work options report better employee retention rates.
2. Offer Comprehensive Wellness Programs and Benefits
Research has also indicated that workplace stress costs businesses around $190 billion in annual healthcare costs alone in the United States—which is nearly two-thirds of the $300 billion they lose every year. Luckily, comprehensive wellness programs and benefits can significantly help mitigate stress in the workplace.
Comprehensive wellness programs in the 21st century must include financial wellness programs, mental health programs, lifestyle wellness programs, and more.
3. Invest in High-Quality Leadership Training Programs
Forbes also reports that employees’ bosses are a leading source of stress at work. Additionally, 46% of workers claim that their workloads are a huge driver of stress, too, which is most often managed by their bosses.
So, to help mitigate stress in the workplace, it’s important to invest in high-quality leadership training programs or, at the very least, in coaching new managers and retraining your organization’s micromanagers.
4. Develop Inclusive Workplace Policies and Work Spaces
Workplace discrimination is a major cause of stress for many employees and can lead to depression and decreased productivity, among other things. In order to combat stress caused by discrimination and harassment in the workplace, be sure to develop inclusive work policies that support all employees regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Also, be sure to develop inclusive work spaces that embody such policies.
5. Design Career Maps for All Employees
A lack of job security also causes stress for a lot of employees in the workplace. Many employees aren’t sure if their role or job with an organization will be long term, as they don’t know what to expect or what their employers will want from them in the future.
To help mitigate this stressor, design career maps for all your employees; these can help employees feel more secure in their future at your organization.
To mitigate workplace stress at your own organization, follow the best practices outlined above.