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Stress reduction and the path to productivity

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

By Lee Polevoi

According to the American Institute of Stress, U.S. businesses lose more than $300 billion a year because of employee stress—costs due to lower productivity, greater absenteeism and turnover, and increased insurance and workers’ compensation. Therefore, reducing employee stress is as critically important to your company’s well-being as higher sales and revenue.

As a team leader, you’re uniquely positioned to influence workplace conditions and keep the people in your unit as productive as they can be. Here are tips to reduce stress levels:

Communication makes all the difference

When employees don’t know what’s going on, time and productivity are lost worrying about the future. Share information, both good and bad, so no one is forced to wonder what may happen next.

Empowerment and understanding

Feelings of powerlessness lead to stress and diminished productivity. Team members work best when they have the ability to make some decisions that affect their jobs.

Good leaders understand that for workers, it’s not always about the money. People are more productive when they have a strong working relationship with their manager and when they feel they’re directly contributing to the company’s success.

Offer flexible work schedules

Just like you, employees have hectic personal lives. Help reduce the stress of balancing work and life by offering flexible work schedules that allow them to get more done, both in the workplace and at home.

Zero tolerance in the workplace

It should be absolutely clear that your organization will not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any kind. No one should feel stressed by a hostile work environment.

Opportunities to grow

Employees experience less stress in a workplace where they see clear-cut opportunities for further training and career advancement.

Act as a role model

Remember that your own response to stress sets an example for the team. When you stay calm, team members will stay calm as well.

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