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Investing in your employee’s wellness is the smartest business decision you can make

Article provided by Simply

We can all agree that the last few years have been stressful, and with businesses slowly starting to rebuild, we have drafted a few quick tips to ensure that your staff are less stressed in the workplace. After all, investing in your staff’s happiness is the smartest business decision you can make.

Whether stress is high, moderate or low, leaders and employers must address the mental and emotional impact on employees, the risk of high levels of burnout, and lower productivity. Yes, stress is a normal part of work and life, but too much of it can have dire effects on team morale and productivity. As a business leader, how can you de-stress your employees’ lives so they perform at their very best? We have a few ideas.

Uncertainty breeds stress. Support your staff through mentally healthy habits. 

We are living in uncertain times and this contributes immensely to overall stress and anxiety. Between the pandemic, the overall state of the South African economy, and the crime statistics, we don’t know what will come next. And that’s taking a toll on our mental health, including at work.

Investing in mental health is the first step to increasing workplace productivity while ensuring that your employees have a lowered risk of burnout, and an increased level of workplace satisfaction. 

Don’t just say you support mental health. Model it so that your team members feel they can prioritize self-care and set boundaries. As an employer, it is very valuable to your team for them to know that you also prioritize your own mental health. If you are going for a walk in the middle of the day, share it. Share if you are going to a therapy appointment, or prioritizing a shorter workday on Friday so that you don’t burn out. In this way, you normalize looking after your own health, and in turn the health of those who work for and with you. 

Encouraging open communication

The statistics don’t lie: most employees attribute workplace stress to their bosses. In fact, research has linked a negative employee-employer relationship to issues with sleep, increased anxiety, and high blood pressure.

Through encouraging open communication in the workplace, stress levels can be vastly diminished. While many organisations champion a culture of open communication, many don’t get the opportunity to actually create it. 

Simply asking for your employee’s input proves that you care about their involvement in the overall business; making them feel more valued. Furthermore, clearly showing that they have heard employees’ opinions and take them seriously. 

Encourage your employees to take a break 

A workplace culture that encourages non-stop work has an incredibly damaging effect on employees. 

If your employees are overloaded and continually sacrificing their free time to get work done or make targets; it might be time to reconsider their workload or hire assistance. And by encouraging them to take breaks throughout the day, employees will come back to the office less stressed and more productive.

Instead of waiting for your staff to ask for time off, perhaps create an environment that encourages time off before it is critically needed. This is simply done by suggesting time-off to staff members, or ensuring the HR monitors when last a staff member took leave. 

Bring a few diversions into the office

A team that has fun together, works better together. 

There are an infinite number of fun activities you can bring in to reduce workplace stress, whether they’re permanent fixtures or for a special occasion. Whether it be a ping pong table, or a 30 seconds game board, allowing your employees to let loose during the day will help them deal with stress in the workplace and boost employee productivity and morale.

Set an example

Above all, the most influential step you can take as a boss is to lead by example. 

If your employees see you working around the clock, de-prioritizing physical health, or never taking time off, they’re more likely to follow suit.

The good news is there are plenty of opportunities to show your employees that you care about their stress levels and the health of the organization at large. By facilitating open dialogue and setting a great example as an employer, you can ensure that your company is a great place to work for ages while being successful. 

Simply is a proud Partner of the NSBC