"While some levels of stress can be considered a motivator to get things done, when stress is too intense or too frequent, it can become a health risk—both for individuals and the businesses that employ them,” said Dr Mandeville.
“In the workplace, stress and stress-related mental and physical health issues are linked to decreased productivity and engagement which can increase absenteeism, presenteeism and labour turnover. There are several stress management techniques team leaders can use to manage employees stress more effectively”.
Encourage authenticity at work
Being yourself at work is important. As a leader, you’re expected to pave the way for others, but people won’t feel safe and behave more authentically overnight, these things take time. Taking a risk and being a bit more candid about your own emotions and struggles contribute a lot to building a culture where employees feel safe enough to reveal their authentic selves.
Create a culture of compassion
There is strong scientific evidence to suggest that working in supportive teams with clear goals dramatically lowers stress. Compassionate leadership and culture also increase staff engagement. The good news is compassion is a behaviour, and it can be learned. The four steps to compassion involve listening and being present, taking time to understand other people’s perspectives, empathising with others and helping by taking intelligent actions to remove obstacles and provide resources as needed.
Build up psychological skills
Even in organisations committed to building compassionate cultures, companies will need to invest further to grow a future-proof workforce with solid psychological coping skills. Options like mental health training (for line managers and employees) and comprehensive, science-based apps can be used to mitigate employee stress.
Workplace pressure is unavoidable, and some pressure is necessary to help us stay responsive and agile. During International Stress Awareness Week, I urge employers to take the time to build a compassionate work environment - it’s worth the investment. A workforce with stronger mental wellbeing is more likely to have stronger morale, improved employee loyalty and greater productivity".
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