Starting a new job can be a nerve-wracking experience – especially for someone who may not have been in the workplace before, such as a new graduate.
No one should go into work feeling anxious and dreading the day ahead and it is the responsibility of the boss to ensure that employees feel comfortable and relaxed in their surroundings and are supported every step of the way.
In fact, organisations should be encouraging managers to make whatever modifications are necessary to create a stress-free work environment. Stress makes employees three times more likely to leave their jobs, hinders their creative talents, and even makes them less productive.
When employees are put in a high-pressure situation, they go into ‘fight or flight mode’. Our body experiences this when we’re under high pressure and in need of protection. In turn, it decreases our ability to think logically which can lead to burnout.
Here’s how bosses can create a stress-free work environment:
Offer regular breaks throughout the day
The brain can only focus for up to 2 hours at a time before it needs some time out. Therefore, you should be encouraging your employees to take regular breaks to refresh and disengage from challenging tasks for a short while. Giving your team the space and time they need will enhance performance and keep stress levels low.
Look into flexible work opportunities
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more graduate job employers are now allowing their employees to work from home. This not only cuts back on renting office space but provides the employees with a greater work/life balance by ditching commuting time. You could even go one step further by allowing employees to choose their own working hours to fit around their responsibilities and hold regular meetings on a one-on-one basis to ensure their needs are met.
Employees are bound to feel disengaged with their tasks if they’re rarely recognised for their professional achievements. Research has shown that companies that acknowledge their workforce’s efforts lead to greater employee satisfaction and less turnover, perhaps because they’re better able to cope with pressure if their hard work is appreciated. Team meetings are a great way to shout out about employee performance, or better still – offer them great benefits for hitting targets or going beyond their means.
Add greenery to the office
Nature has the ability to improve mood and mental health. Studies have shown that adding plants to an interior can lower our stress levels by feeling more in tune with the outdoors. Health benefits include lower blood pressure and a reduction in stress levels.
Set realistic goals
Many employees walk out of their job because of being set realistic goals they’ll never meet. Therefore, it would be wise to re-assess your team’s targets regularly to prevent unnecessary stress.
Using the SMART Methodology would be advised:
- S – Specific: The goal is easy to grasp.
- M – Measurable: It is easy to measure its success over time, rather than at the end of the project.
- A – Achievable: The goal is highly achievable within the time frame set and resources available.
- R – Relevant: The goal is not overly ambitious, but realistic.
- T – Time-Limited: The employee is given a clear timeless of when deadlines should be met, alongside the completion date.
This guest post was authored by Inspiring Interns.
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