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How to manage a stressed team during pressured times

Published by: LifeWorks,

Manage a stressed team during pressured times

According to Health and Safety Executive, over 11 million days are lost at work a year because of stress at work. Find out how to manage work-related stress so you can support your employees’ mental well-being during pressured times.

Here’s how you can help:

Encourage people to take short breaks.
And do so yourself. Even a 10-minute break away from a stressful or tense situation helps. Get a few minutes of fresh air, or practice deep breathing or relaxation techniques. Try the Calm app that helps you manage anxiety, lower stress and sleep better through guided meditations.

Offer your support in big and small ways.
Research shows that support from one’s manager is a key driver in reducing employees’ feelings of pressure and stress. Ask what you can do to help. Be available for coaching and advice. Create an atmosphere where people feel comfortable enough to drop by your office to ask a question, talk, or express a concern.

Let employees know that there’s an end in sight.
If you know that the workload will lighten up or that this period of change will be over by a certain time, share this information with your people. It’s easier to keep going if we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Acknowledge and talk about the pressure they are feeling.
Usually small, simple changes to working arrangements or responsibilities will help ease pressures affecting the team member. Show them that you’re there to support them and find solutions together.

Coach your people on how to deal with stressful situations.
Give employees the support and training they need to handle difficult customers and to get through challenging days at work.

Focus on building relationships.
Friendships and social support at work take the pressure off for all of us. Encourage team activities that are not connected to work or performance, such as potluck lunches or quarterly celebrations. If people don’t have time to attend, tell them you value people’s participation. But don’t force anyone to participate.

Introduce humour whenever possible.
Tell a funny story or send around a good cartoon or video that captures something you’ll all find amusing.

Encourage people to pay attention to their physical and emotional well-being.
Without being intrusive, remind employees of the importance of getting regular exercise and of taking care of themselves. Give people permission to make time for exercise or to go to a quiet space for relaxation.

Remind people to enjoy their lives at work and at home.
Talk about the things you’re doing to protect your own well-being. If you go to a gym, talk about it. If you go hiking with your kids, talk about it. Then ask people if they have any interesting plans for the weekend. This allows you to set an example and to get people thinking about their own need for balance and rejuvenation.

Watch for signs of burnout.
Signs of burnout might include a loss of interest in or enthusiasm for work, as well as an increase in health problems such as headache or backache. If you have concerns about an employee, your human resources (HR) representative or a wellness program might be able to help.

Help people maintain their perspective.
It’s easy to lose focus and forget to plan ahead when you’re under a lot of pressure. Remind employees to step back and regain perspective from time to time.

Make your employees feel loved