In previous blogs, we’ve discussed the first two reasons employees typically cite for walking out of the workplace: Long hours and low pay. This week, we’ll take a closer look at a third obstacle that arises between companies and their workers: stress.
Day-to-day stress can be a powerful motivator in the workplace, and it can serve a valuable purpose in the right context and at the right time. For example, stress can keep employees engaged. It’s hard to be bored or daydream about other opportunities when you’re constantly rushing from each task to the next. And employees who are new—both to the workplace and the industry in general—often find a certain element of satisfaction, or even glamour, in a stressful workday because a little stress can heighten our sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. But when does stress become a genuine demotivator? And how can you reduce stress before it pushes your best workers out the door?
First, overload employees at your own risk.
There are only so many hours in a day, and a full plate is a full plate. Employees often hesitate to reject new projects when they’re maxed out because they feel that saying no might make them look weak, or they feel that if they just work a little harder, they can make more bandwidth magically appear. Since employees can’t be trusted to say no when necessary, it’s a manager’s responsibility to recognize and keep track of who’s working on what. Don’t push more work onto an overloaded plate, regardless of your employee’s response to the request.
Second, listen and observe.
Just as they sometimes struggle to say no, some employees have a hard time expressing or admitting when they’re stressed to the breaking point. But again, the signs are there if observant managers are paying attention. A sudden increase in sick days, a depressed attitude, an increase in exhaustion-related mistakes, and social withdrawal can signal that an employee needs a little help. Redistribute the workload and encourage teamwork.
If you aren’t sure, just ask.
Sit with each of your direct reports for a one-on-one chat at least once or twice a month. Ask them how they feel about the work they’re doing and what resources you may be able to provide that could help them. When they answer, listen and act. If you can’t think of a solution, ask them for suggestions.
Recognize when it’s time to add more hands.
Nothing comes for free in this life, and if your current employees are maxed out and there’s still work left undone, it may be time to expand your teams. If you can’t afford the cost and commitment of opening full-time positions, investigate the possibility of part-time staff or temporary help to get your team back on level ground.
Work with a top staffing agency in Scottsdale
If you are looking for the right employees for your team, talk to the ACCENT Hiring Group and work with a top staffing agency in Scottsdale.