Stress is generally caused by having too much to do, and the worry and anxiety that accompanies problems in and out of the workplace. Stressed individuals lose their tolerance for frustration, take things personally, and either become agitated or emotionally shut down. Never good for business, productivity or employee satisfaction.
Burnout, the collapse of physical or emotional strength or motivation resulting from extended periods of stress or frustration, also negatively impacts a bottom line as it leads to exhaustion, loss of motivation and ineffectiveness.
While burnout is on the rise, you can immediately implement these proven strategies to minimize workplace stress and burnout:
- Take care of yourself physically and encourage your team to do the same. Get plenty of water, nutrient-rich food and a good night’s rest so that you aren’t burning the candle at both ends. Encourage your team to do the same.
- Express appreciation regularly. Appreciation is a wonderful antidote to stress and burnout. Employees who feel valued and appreciated are motivated to work harder and are far less likely to be stressed or burnout than those who feel treated like expendable objects. Customers, especially those you never want to lose, also need to feel valued and appreciated.
- Ensure everyone carries their load. It’s tempting to not want to rock the boat with someone who is slacking off. Unfortunately, overlooking underperformers increases the workload and pressure of your hardest workers. Additionally, turning a blind eye to slackers demotivates and frustrates team members and leads to stress and burnout. Why should your best people continue to perform at their highest levels when others are allowed to lollygag?
- Address problems as they arise. Problems are never pleasant and often ignored in hopes they will go away. Unfortunately, problems rarely disappear on their own. Taking care of problems is like weeding a garden. Baby weeds are easy to pull, but once they take root, they can be a bear. If an employee is unhappy, missing the mark or failing to complete tasks initiate a conversation. Find out what’s wrong and if you can do anything to help. Unresolved problems and ongoing arguments drain energy and take a huge toll on productivity and work satisfaction.
As a leader you have the power to minimize stress and in doing so significantly decrease the likelihood of burnout among your staff. This is especially important during a pandemic. Implementing even one on these tips will produce results. Master all four and you’ll have the satisfaction of watching productivity, job satisfaction and profitability soar.
*Originally published in Garden Center Magazine. Modified and used with permission.
Dr. Sherene McHenry, The People IQ Expert, equips organizations to boost engagement, productivity and profitability and empowers individuals to enjoy happier, healthier relationships and greater success in and out of the workplace. She’s excited to join us for our upcoming MBA Best Conference and Women in Banking Outdoor Luncheon.