While much is expected of the employee, just what are employers doing to make sure their employees are taken care of while under their watch?
Despite a declining unemployment rate nationwide (currently around 8.3 percent) there are still a fair number of workers who are coming home with pink slips at the end of the day. When that happens, the workload is then heaped on other individuals who must do the extra work, something that can lead to stress issues.
According to a 2011 survey from the American Psychological Association (APA), 36 percent of workers reported feeling work stress on a regular basis and nearly half (49 percent) pointed out that a small salary has a major impact on their stress level in the workplace.
Along with money issues, employees stated minimal options for growth and advancement (43 percent), large workloads (43 percent), unrealistic work expectations (40 percent) and long hours (39 percent) as major sources of stress.
Additionally, less than half of employees (43 percent) indicated they obtain adequate non-monetary rewards and recognition for their efforts at work and only 57 percent claimed being happy with their employer’s work-life practices.
Finally, 52 percent of employees reported they feel valued in the workplace, only two thirds stated they were motivated to do their best at work and close to a third (32 percent) indicated that they intend to seek employment elsewhere within this year.
If your employees are feeling a tad stressed these days, what can you do to make them feel more at ease so that they have a better mix of work and life?
Among the items to consider:
- Make sure your workers know the signs of stress at work so they are pro-active and not re-active. In the case of an employee feeling anxious, irritable, fatigued or battling issues concentrating, see what is bothering them, especially when it might be work-related;
- Reassure them that the company is doing everything in its power to succeed and that layoffs are not in the plans anytime soon. Employees who have more job reassurance are less apt to be stressing;
- Make available a workout program via a local fitness club so that employees can exercise regularly. Whether it is one day or several days a week, employees will feel better about themselves and their jobs by getting proper exercise;
- Plan some social get-togethers. It can be a happy hour or an in-house lunch, but bringing your employees together as a team in a non-stressful setting offers a great opportunity for all to unwind;
- Review each employee’s time management and check out where they may be able to tighten up a few areas. By feeling less pressure to get things done on the clock, employees will be more relaxed and should concentrate better;
- Let employees know their contributions are appreciated. Too many employers only point out when something negative happens. Take a pro-active approach and congratulate employees when the job is well done.
While employers and managers have the ability to decrease the stress of their employees, not all do.
Some don’t recognize the signs of an employee stressing out, leading to an issue either where the individual begins to fail at their job and must be disciplined or even let go, or the person exits on their own accord.
By acting as a positive role model for his or her employees, business owners and managers can set the tone for a positive workplace experience from the intern all the way up to the top staff.
As a small business employer, what do you or your management do to make sure employees are both productive and satisfied?
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