Part of today’s workplace is that companies are expecting more and more out of everybody anymore. While this can be exciting and leaves a lot of space open for top performers to really shine, it also opens up a lot of room for stress to develop.
When too much stress pops up, it can lead to all sorts of problems for everyone, including a loss of productivity, burnout and even people quitting en masse. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to keep stress levels reasonable and to let your team let off steam. Here are a few quick tips.
3 Ways to Help Your Team Reduce Workplace Stress
Have Creative Time
Some companies are actually finding that encouraging their team members to do childlike things is actually good for the creative process. One way you can do this is to have a “clay hour,” where team members all sit together and put their hands in some clay. The process is excellent for getting into a fun and creative mode, which both reduces stress and encourages everyone to work at their best level. The amazing thing is, working creatively doesn’t feel like “work,” so people don’t get burnt out even if they’re producing at an incredible rate.
Be Genuinely Open
If you’ve ever met a boss whose “open door policy” meant little more than not bothering to close the door before yelling at underlings who weren’t performing to the expected standard, you know that having such a work environment is a stress machine. If you want to encourage your employees to do their very best, you want them to know that they can come to you with anything. Granted, you aren’t a therapist and you’re not their best friend, but sometimes just listening can have amazing effects on people.
Play Games Together
Have you ever taken your team out for something fun like laser tag, paint ball or even flag football? Athletic games get people moving, which is great for relieving stress. Doing slightly combative but non-serious games also lets people blow off a lot of steam. If one of your employees has been itching to shoot you, wouldn’t you rather it be with a painful but non-lethal paintball? Plus, you can shoot right back and it’s completely fair.
If you treat people with respect, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how respectful they tend to be in return. When you encourage creativity, you’ll tend to get a lot of hard work out of people. And when your employees know that they can sometimes tackle or pelt you with paint, they won’t bottle up their frustrations. Overall, a few extracurricular activities can do wonders for your team, so try them.
About the Author: Alvaro Baynham works for a VOIP service provider who gives employees a 1/2 day once per quarter to enjoy team bulding exercises, fun, and food together. It cuts out some of the stress and gives everyone something positive to look foward to!