Given the widespread impact of COVID-19 on our mental and physical health over nearly 2 years, International Stress Awareness Week is the perfect opportunity to reflect on how we can create better workplace environments for our colleagues.

Working within a culture that prioritizes psychological wellbeing is key to a productive team in any business. As a leader, it’s great to have measures in place that keep your employees healthy to perform their job roles. Whilst you can complete useful tests to challenge your own ability to spot someone struggling, we’ve got 5 tips that you can use to intervene before poor mental health arises.

Reassurance

If you see signs of stress levels rising in your organisation, it’s always important to take time to remind your employees of their huge value to the company. By reassuring your team that almost any error on their part can be rectified with guidance instead of punishment, you’re on your way to avoiding any mental health problems in your workplace. Stress can negatively affect every aspect of an employee’s daily life, including their quality of work. That’s why it’s a good idea to lead the way with kindness.

Boundaries

A healthy work-life balance is vital in reducing stress and paying attention during working hours. As a leader, it can be really valuable to be on the look out for late-night emails and ridiculous log-in hours from your team members. You may have to remind them that relaxation is as critical as the work itself. Even if your colleagues are maintaining a healthy workload balance, it’s worth introducing them to apps like Headspace to encourage mindfulness exercises when it suits them.

Planning Should Be The Priority

Preparation is the key to keeping stress hormones at bay. Multitasking various projects with differing deadlines can often lead to severe anxiety and other mental health issues.

It’s worth encouraging your team to start their day with a detailed plan that’s realistic about what they can and can’t achieve. By doing so, your employees are much more likely to avoid burnout and you can structure your plans more efficiently. And why not start each morning with a team meeting? That way everyone knows exactly where their priorities are at moving forward.

Critique The Right Way

There will always be times when you need to ask an employee to improve their behaviour or work, even if their actions were well-intended. But we advise handling your critique calmly and with empathy. After all, one of the biggest causes of stress-related health problems is job security.

When addressing performance issues, simply explain the cause and effect of their mistakes. Or you could offer a direct strategy to improve on them? That way you’ll significantly reduce their anxiety towards the situation and that of others in similar job roles.

Listen To Your People

To best conduct stress management in your team, you cannot take a better approach than asking them directly. Questionnaires, group meetings, or one to one sessions can help you learn how to improve their mental state at work. It’s good to have a few ideas to start the discussion, such as out-of-hours leisure activities like restaurant visits, bowling or mini-golf. Try to build on the existing interests of your colleagues so the wider team can share their passions.

International Stress Awareness Week is the perfect opportunity to shed light on the different ways we can improve the mental welfare of our colleagues. For long term benefit, it’s important that we implement these tips all year round.

To learn more about making your workforce healthy and happy to achieve results, book one of Talkout’s mental health training courses today.