How engaged is your workforce? Engagement can be a difficult statistic to quantify, so let’s look at it a different way. What types of trends do you see in productivity? Do you know your organization’s statistics on absenteeism and turnover?
As an HR professional, these are key metrics to pay attention to when monitoring the work culture at your organization. Of course, we would love all of our employees to be happy and productive, but why does it seem harder to achieve than ever before?
To put it briefly, the answer is stress.
Stress is something that we all go through at one point or another. In today’s world, there are a lot of things that can induce stress, work being a leading cause. According to the American Institute of Stress, 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress, resulting in about one million Americans missing work each day.
Stress is a major hurdle many organizations struggle with, but how can we in HR create a better environment to reduce stress on our employees?
Creating a stress-conscious workplace can be the first step to combating the negative effects of stress. Below we explore some of this year’s wellness trends for reducing stress and how you can implement them in your workplace!
So many organizations preach about the importance of balancing work and personal life, but what is your company actually doing to help them find it? Flexibility is a major component of allowing your employees to find a happy medium between managing their responsibilities at the office and at home.
Flexibility comes In all shapes and sizes, It does not have to mean permanent remote work. Consider exploring new initiatives like these to find balance between personal life and work:
- Meeting-free Friday afternoons
- Dress-down Mondays
- Gym memberships
- Walking meetings
- Weekly chair massages from a local business
- Lunch and Learns on techniques to alleviate stress at work or at home
- Off-site team-building events
- Create a Yoga room or gym
Consider offering free access to a health hub as a benefit. The advancements of technology have given us insights into data we would have never thought possible. Health hubs offer great insights into tracking and monitoring our wellness activities to ensure we stay mindful of our stress levels. They often come with workout or meditation programs that can be used to help alleviate stress.
If you are interested in adding something like this as a benefit perk, consider checking out these resources:
- Happify – Happify is an app for stress management with the focus of lowering your stress and anxiety levels via gameplay. The app uses games and activities in order to help users how to think more positively and cope when feeling stressed. It also includes tracking features to help you see your progress over time.
- Welltory – Welltory is popular app for measuring your stress level. The app utilizes your phone’s cameras in order to measure your heart rate with your fingers. You’ll then be given lots of information and accompanying resources, including your stress, productivity, energy, and resiliency levels.
When was the last time your team did something together just for the fun of it? Whether it is a day filled with games, or ping-pong challenges during breaks, it is important to encourage people to engage with their peers in interactive and fun ways. A little bit of play can go a long way in maintaining a happy workplace.
When it comes to incorporating social activities into your work place, remember to include a little something for everyone. The goal is create an inclusive space where people feel comfortable to engage and express themselves.
Time for Mindfulness
Dedicating time to cultivating an environment of mindfulness is a great step to reducing workplace-stress. Creating a space for individuals to practice purposeful attention and/or meditation can help calm their minds and focus on the present. Hold workshops that encourage employees to express compassion and empathy to those around them, It can lead to a kinder and more accepting workplace. Teach breathing techniques and the important role breath can have to help navigate and alleviate stressful situations.
There are numerous ways to practice mindfulness, and each can have a significant impact in how we choose to engage with stress.
Mental health has been growing leaps and bounds over recent years. Helpful resources, tools, and providers are now more accessible than ever before. Make sure your employees know about the resources that are available to help them through difficult times.
It can be very hard to handle stress, especially when we feel like we’re doing it on our own. Stress will continue to build until we choose to do something about it. Be a part of the solution by creating a work environment that prioritizes the well-being of your employees.
For more articles like this one, check out the Bentek Blog.