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Here are three ways that Nadine Greiner Ph.D., writing for Entrepreneur (Europe) online, suggests that leaders can reduce stress in their teams and, as a consequence, improve business performance.
1. Open your toolkit.
As a leader, you need to set your team members up for success by giving them the tools to learn how to manage stress. Don’t just leave it to HR. You should empower your team for success by providing additional resources specific to your team members. Stress is powerful. It’s impossible to fight it unless you understand it. You may even need external help. It’s worth considering.
When you give employees the tools to manage their own stress, they’re able to take control of their destiny. Why is this important? The more in control your employees feel, the less stressed they’ll be. Adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine are the stress hormones that originate in our brains and rush through our bodies. They are subdued once we feel that we are in
control and that the threat has disappeared. At that point, your team is no longer stressed and can function better again.
2. Be transparent.
Sharing company values and objectives in communications can be for the sole purpose of reducing employee stress. A shared vision bonds people. And relaxes them. Take the opportunity to be clear about how employees fit into the bigger picture and thank individuals and teams for their contribution. Share company performance data and results and attribute them to employees. When you’re not transparent, employees feel out of the loop and in limbo, which causes a lot of worrying and thinking about worst-case scenarios. When you’re transparent and appreciative, your team members will trust you, and you’ll improve as a leader, reducing their stress and yours.
3. Embrace time off when needed.
Nearly eight out of ten workers force themselves to work while sick. Encourage employees to take care of their health and remind them about the importance of taking time off. Creating an environment that encourages time off when needed might be easier than you think. Modeling a wholesome approach to using time off to get or stay healthy yourself will help a lot. And
make sure your managers don’t punish or look down on employees that take the rests they need. Companies in Europe and around the world are realising the importance of this.
Creating a stress-reduced workplace doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a lot of time, dedication and commitment, but few things are more important to your success as a leader.
Just talking about it will make a big difference. And just as importantly, take good care of yourself too.