How to Help your Employees Cope with Stress

In these challenging times, your employees may be feeling more pressure than usual. They might be working from home while trying to juggle work demands and family responsibilities. All of this can be very overwhelming. While everyone experiences some stress from time to time, dealing with chronic stress can have negative effects on physical and emotional health. If you think any of your employees are having a hard time coping, there are ways you can help.

Signs your employees may need help

If your employees are experiencing certain health issues or you notice changes in their behavior, it may be the result of too much stress:

  • Headaches and stomachaches

  • Insomnia

  • Short temper or trouble concentrating

  • Procrastination and lower job performance

  • Depression and anxiety

  • Changes in appetite and obesity

  • High blood pressure and heart disease

Creating a supportive work environment

Try to promote a calm, supportive and safe environment for your employees. Keeping in close contact with each employee will help you understand how they feel. And make sure to minimize these triggers, which create extra stress at work:

  • Long hours, tight deadlines and overwhelming workloads

  • Feeling unsupported or lacking control over decisions

  • Doing work that isn’t challenging

  • Dealing with conflicting demands or unclear expectations

To get a better understanding of how they feel about work, schedule regular meetings or check-ins, and include them when making decisions that will affect them. Other helpful steps you can take:

  • Recognizing good work performance and creating opportunities to grow

  • Monitoring workloads and hours, and encouraging time off

  • Connecting them with an employee assistance program (EAP) for support dealing with life challenges, including financial, legal and mental health

  • Promoting a culture of well-being with fitness programs, healthy eating campaigns and instruction in relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing

Keeping communication open with your employees during these difficult times will help your employees feel safe and secure. Remember to let them know they are never alone and that help is always available.

COVID-19 Resources: Managing Your Business During a Crisis