As businesses globally battle the consequences of the COVID19 pandemic, there is a high increase in the stress levels of both the management and employees. Working from home in the midst of distractions makes it difficult for employees to stay productive.
It goes without saying that this has greatly affected employee engagement. Business owners and managers are concerned and doing everything in their power to support employees through this phase and ensure they stay motivated to perform.
The major reason for this is the high amount of stress employees are feeling and the constant burnout due to the misalignment of personal and professional lives. Add to that the constant fear of getting infected by the virus.
Here are some stress management strategies managers can use to reduce employee stress and help them thrive despite the challenges posed by the pandemic:
- Eliminate stigma around mental health:
The best thing managers can do at this time is to make their employees feel okay about the mental-health-related struggles that they are facing in this tough phase. Employees must feel safe about sharing their issues without fear of judgment.
This means the managers must talk openly about mental health issues in order to remove the shame surrounding it. Educate them about its importance through an online course using an LMS system. This will create awareness about it and foster a culture of empathy.
- Make sure what you’re expecting is realistic:
These are highly unprecedented times, and as a manager, your expectations must be reformed according to the situation we are dealing with. This means understanding the obstacles that come with remote work and setting realistic goals for your employees.
It is important for managers to understand individual employee competencies and allocate work accordingly. They must also take into account the situation a particular employee may be facing at their end and change expectations accordingly.
- Make employees their own boss:
It is obvious for managers to feel that employees already have a lot of freedom since they are working from home in the pandemic. But not allowing employees to make their own decisions means they actually have very little freedom.
Give employees autonomy to structure their day however they want. This will make them feel relaxed especially since living with family means not every employee will be able to work in the same fixed number of hours. When employees have flexible working hours, it reduces work stress and makes it easy for them to produce good work.
- Encourage breaks:
It may seem like employees may not have anywhere to go in these strict no-outdoor policy times. But that does not mean they shouldn’t take day-offs to disconnect from work. It gives employees a chance to spend time with their families and do things they love.
This break from work is rejuvenating and allows employees to come back to work feeling refreshed. It is also very powerful in lowering stress levels and making employees feel excited to work.
- Build connections with employees:
When employees do not feel supported by their managers or have a poor relationship with them, it makes them feel uninterested in performing their duties. It can also make an employee feel undervalued which negatively affects their performance.
An absolute must in these times, keeping track of employee well-being is a great way of helping employees thrive in the current situation. Managers must build valuable connections with their employees to ensure employees feel comfortable reaching out to them when they are in distress.
Since work is getting more demanding than ever, our strategies to help employees manage their stress must also get more creative. Use the above-mentioned ideas to ensure employees feel supported and are able to excel in these trying times.