Stress in the workplace takes a toll—not just emotionally, but physically and even financially. Stressed-out, anxious, and fatigued employees don’t work as hard, they don’t work as creatively, and they aren’t as willing to take risks. They do tend to call off more, taking more sick days and getting less done when they’re in the office. So in a very real way, workplace stress can impact your bottom line.
The question is, what can you do about it? After all, stress happens. There’s nothing you can do to prevent stress from making its way into your workplace. You’ll have tough clients, urgent deadlines, high-stakes situations, and busy seasons. These common stressors cannot be totally prevented against, but perhaps they can be managed.
Learning to manage stress is important for any business owner or leader—but you can’t just leave it there. In addition to managing your own stress, it’s important to help your employees manage their stress for them—which often means leading by example.
Think about that the next time you feel yourself getting overwhelmed by your daily tasks. If you lash out, explode in a fit of rage, or have a breakdown in front of your employees—well, you’re only human, and these things can happen, but be mindful of the fact that the way you deal with stress is a model to the rest of your team. And when the boss gets overwhelmed, the rest of the workforce can’t help but feel the same.
That’s why it’s important—first of all—for you to have some stress management structures in place, even if it’s just an outlet such as journaling, exercise, or music. Use these outlets, and make it clear to your employees that you welcome them to do the same. Make yours a workplace in which everyone takes the time they need to deal with potential stress buildups.
You might even go as far as to invest in stress management training for your team—and if you do, make sure you’re in attendance. Again, what you want to do is lead by example—signaling to everyone on your team that proper stress mitigation is a part of your company culture.
Dr. Rick Goodman CSP is a thought leader in the world of leadership and is known as one of the most sought after team building experts in the United States and internationally.
He is famous for helping organizations, corporations, and individuals with systems and strategies that produce increased profits and productivity without having the challenges of micro managing the process. Some of Dr. Rick’s clients include AT&T, Boeing, Cavium Networks, Heineken, IBM, and Hewlett Packard.