It would do you well to determine the chief causes behind your employees’ anxiety, and do your best to eliminate them.
SupportBiz lists the top eight reasons for employee stress.
1. Anxiety about their jobs
One of the biggest reasons employees are stressed out is their anxiety regarding their jobs. Employees can worry about various things about their jobs – Are there opportunities for growth and career advancement within the organisation? Are their jobs secure? Will they get good raises and promotions periodically?
The best way you, as the head of your firm, can deal with this is by talking regularly to your employees. Hold periodic discussions with your employees, and give them your feedback on the work that they have been doing. Review their performance from time to time, and keep them informed about the pay raises and promotions that they will or will not be getting. Do not shock your employees by suddenly throwing curveballs at them; let them know what to expect regarding their respective jobs.
2. Their managers
The behaviour of their managers is a chief cause of anxiety among employees. Employees often get stressed out on account of rude, insensitive or unfriendly bosses. They also get stressed out by the unprofessional or unethical behaviour of their managers. For instance, managers siding with the top management and not supporting the team, leaving it to fend on its own, are also a major cause of stress among employees. Similarly, bosses playing favourites among team members can also contribute to employee stress.
To avoid this, managers should approach their jobs with the utmost degree of professionalism and ethics. They should be a role model, and inspire their teams to behave ethically and professionally. They should not indulge in favouritism or any other kind of bias among their team mates. They should treat their team players with respect, and be sensitive to their worries and needs.
3. Their salaries
Salaries are another major cause of concern among employees. Employees might be dissatisfied with the salaries they are receiving, or they might be worried about the firm paying their salaries on time in future.
To eliminate this cause of stress, managers need to hold periodic reviews with their team players, offering them feedback about their work and the pay raises/promotions that they can expect. They should try to remove the discrepancies between employee expectations and reality, in terms of their salaries, as far as possible. Keep the employees aware of the financial stability of the firm, and put their minds at rest regarding the timely receipt of their salaries.
4. Unrealistic expectations
Many a times, employees feel that their managers have set unrealistic targets and deadlines before them. They could be worried about losing their jobs if they do not realise these targets, which could be contributing to their high stress levels.
Again, the best way to deal with this is through discussions with the employees. Managers should hold periodic discussions with their team members, and give them a fair chance to express their views about the targets and deadlines allotted to them. If an employee is tensed about certain targets that need to be achieved, the managers should guide them on how to achieve them on time, and counsel them as to how this will positively impact their careers.
Another important contributor to employee stress is problems with co-workers. Some employees might not be getting on well with their co-workers. Routine fights and differences of opinion with co-workers might be affecting their performance.
What you can do in this regard is to foster an environment in which team spirit can prosper. Organise activities that help build team spirit among your employees, and help them in understanding each other better. Ensure that the managers work actively towards resolving such disputes and eliminating such stressors.
6. Office environment
Employees might not be happy with the physical environment that they work in, due to various reasons. This might be making their work life stressful and uncomfortable.
If you suspect that this is the case, you should talk to the employees concerned, and try to figure out what exactly they do not like in their work environment. Do your best at eliminating the aspects that stress out your employees from their physical environment.
7. Commute time
Some employees might be residing very far from the office, and might have to brave a long commute to and from work every day. This can also be a major factor contributing to employee stress.
If this is the case, you might want to consider offering the concerned employees work-from-home or part-time jobs, in order to ease their commuting woes. Alternatively, see if offering pick-up and drop facilities to and from work can help such employees.
8. Personal factors
There might be several personal factors affecting the stress levels of your employees. For instance, they might be worried about their own health, or that of their family members. They might be facing financial troubles, or problems with some of their family members.
This is outside your realm of control, really, but if you think the personal problems of your employees are causing them too much stress and affecting their work lives, in turn, you might want to discuss about the same with them. Work at finding out what is really bothering your employees, and offer to help them in a friendly manner, as far as possible.