5 Ways to Help Manage Employee Stress
In a roller-coaster year, finance teams have had mounting stress at work and at home. Employers can help.
Corporate finance teams have faced a year of stressful market changes and uncertainties. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been challenged to minimize any negative impacts on their organizations. While some corporations were able to thrive due to shifts in market demand, others just needed to survive.
Stressful? Absolutely. And stress has a way of affecting everything: Physical fitness, mental health, relationships, work-life balance, productivity, and more.
Stress is also estimated to cost American companies more than $300 billion a year from things like absenteeism, poor performance, and health costs.
Below are five ways you can help manage your finance employees' stress levels.
1. Defined workplace structure and roles
When the leadership structure in a workplace is undefined it leads to high stress and low productivity. Employees need to know who they are accountable to in order to focus on their work rather than office politics. Likewise, employees perform best when they have well-defined roles and job responsibilities. With all the abrupt changes that have happened over the past year, a lot of roles may be undefined on your team. Remove unnecessary uncertainty by making it clear who is in charge of what. Then modify job responsibilities as needed to best fit the strengths and weaknesses of your team. Just don’t forget to clearly communicate any changes before they go into place.
2. Physical fitness initiatives
Physical fitness is critical. Our bodies need movement. It’s that simple. People don’t feel well, physically or emotionally, being sedentary and staring at a screen all day — even if they enjoy the work they’re doing. And if the situation was challenging before the pandemic, the abrupt shift to remote work may have worsened the matter. With no walking to and from the office to get to their cars, meetings, or lunch dates, your employees may be less physically active than ever. Encourage physical fitness with in-office workout programs, gym membership discounts, and pedometer challenges that remote employees can participate in even from home.
3. Mental health programs
Providing mental health programs to your employees is a sound investment — especially during times of high stress. Your finance teams are made of individuals who have been facing great stress connected to both work and home life due to COVID-19. As the pandemic improves, people may need mental health programs even more as they finally exhale and shift from just getting by to mentally processing the past year and all its changes. Consider offering workshops that teach mental health tips and tricks like breathing exercises and anger management techniques, counseling sessions, and seminars on work-life balance and healthy relationships.
4. Professional development opportunities
A lack of growth opportunities and advancement will create additional workplace stress for your finance teams. You don’t want your employees feeling stuck, bored, or underutilized. A person who feels any of those emotions will have one foot out the door and most certainly be less productive than they could be. Offering a True Colors Workshop on personal success, communication, team building, or conflict navigation is a great way to provide your employees with the professional development they crave while simultaneously making your team stronger. True Colors Workshops are customized and can be seamlessly integrated into your current professional development programs.
5. Work flexibility
How much flexibility do you give your finance employees? Giving them a say in how, when, and where certain tasks are performed will go a long way in reducing the stress in their lives. Such flexibility respects the unique skill sets and temperaments on your team. It rewards output not hours and allows people to have a better sense of ownership over their work and their schedules, reducing stress and increasing work-life balance. For example, the ability to change hours when needed, or to work a remote or hybrid schedule if possible, may make all the difference to an employee who is a caregiver of an elderly parent or small child.
Improve your finance team’s well-being
The above five ways to help finance employees manage stress will make a positive difference to your entire team. Defined structure and roles, physical fitness initiatives, mental health programs, professional development opportunities, and work flexibility are meaningful ways to improve your finance team's well-being and productivity