How HR Professionals Can Manage Stress Levels in the Workplace

In a time where we are growing ever more aware of mental health and its impacts, managing stress in the workplace has never been more important.

For many employees, work-related stress has become just another part of the workplace in the modern world. From long hours, to heavy work loads, with little to no understanding on how to manage stress levels, it is no wonder that stress has become so prevalent in today's world. 

Although there is no specific definition, HSE defines work-related stress as 'the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other demands placed on them'. Stress that starts in the workplace can affect an employee’s life inside and outside of the office as it can seep into many different aspects of people's lives. Stress can impact an employee’s personal and working relationships, sleep, mental health and overall wellbeing. 

Over the last couple of years, the COVID-19 pandemic has only made the issue of stress in the workplace more problematic by adding a whole new set of catalysts for stress, mental strain and anxiety. A study by the HSE analysing work-related stress in Great Britain found that 'In 2019/20 work-related stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 51% of all work-related ill health and 55% of all days lost due to work-related ill-health.' 

Stress levels are at an all time high. More than ever, HR professionals, employers and employees must monitor and manage stress in the workplace to improve wellbeing, morale and productivity. XCD's employee management software provides a simple solution to this, with a platform that streamlines communication between managers and employees.

Below are some ways that businesses can help promote a more stress-free, healthy workplace for their employees using this software.

Employee training 

Employee training in stress management and wellness programs are a very effective way of reducing work-related stress. It is important for employees to be aware of how stress both inside and outside of the workplace can lead to anxiety, depression and impact overall wellbeing.

By providing access to training and wellness programs, employees are able to learn and develop coping mechanisms and skills to mitigate stress in the workplace. Stress management training can teach employees essential skills to cope with stress such as such as listening to music, methods of relaxation, and the learning the importance of self-care and taking breaks in order to maximise efficiency and increase productivity.  

XCD provides a simple to use solution to learning and development, allowing managers to set up training programs for their employees and track their progress and ensure that training is being completed. With XCD, employees are able to access learning programs and enroll when they want, letting employees take charge of their mental well being and stay in control of their health.

Stress management training enables employees with methods to cope with their stress and anxiety surrounding the workplace, especially if the job involves high-stress working conditions. It is also important for the managers to also undergo training in order for them to recognise signs of stress among employees. 

Why invest in a Mental Health First Aider?

Time off

It is no secret that time off is essential for relaxation and minimising workplace stress. Being overworked is one the most common causes of stress that employees face. Many employees feel like there is an expectation for them to work late, or feel like they have no choice because of a workload that they are unable to manage which results in employees feeling stressed.

Stress is often associated with dedication and commitment, however this expectation is far more detrimental to a worker's mental health in the long run, often leading to burnout and other serious health problems if left unmanaged.

Not taking time off to reset and recharge can be far more detrimental to workforce productivity, mental health and overall wellbeing. XCD'S intuitive, self service platform makes it quick and easy for employees to login and check their leave allowance and with the mobile app, they can do this anywhere, at any time.

Waiting for leave to be approved can be stressful in and of itself, so XCD's employee management software lets employees see what days they have available and request them as soon as they are starting to feel stressed, meaning they don't have to wait till Monday morning to speak to their manager.

This also cuts out the heavy-load of admin that HR often have to work through to approve leave, transferring this to an easy-to-use self service software.

Manage stress levels by tracking leave

Stress in the workplace can present itself in many different ways, and so it is important for managers to get to know their employees so that they can spot any signs of stress in their behaviour. For example, if someone is appearing more irritable than usual, or taking regular sick leave it may be a sign of that the worker is stressed. 

XCD allows managers to track the leave and absences of their employees through the analytics and reporting tools, meaning that they are able to spot any trends that may be occurring. XCD allows for alerts to be set up to be triggered.  

Employee engagement

Many surveys have shown that one of the main causes of work-related stress is having a workload that is too much to manage. A drop in the quality of their work or consistently missing deadlines may be a sign that the individual's workload is overwhelming them and they may be suffering from stress.

There can be many factors at play that can make someone's job stressful, therefore employee engagement is an effective way to identify what the stressors may be, and if these stressors can be reduced. Regular check-ins with employees help the manager and worker to create solutions together to stay on top of the work, and in turn ensure that job demands are reasonable to minimise workplace stress.

When stress related management is openly made a priority in the workplace, it means employees can feel safe approaching their boss when they are feeling stressed, or even their co-workers to discuss any anxieties or health issues that they may be facing. XCD promotes an open channel of communication with its employee performance tools. Staff members can report work-related stress concerns with a few clicks.

XCD’s forward thinking software lets managers track their employee’s progress in real time, building a bridge of communication between managers and their staff that is accessible at any time. Configurable performance review forms and regular performance appraisals allow for consistent feedback to help minimise stress, and help employees stay track with their work. XCD's solution tools help the employer work with their staff members to reduce workplace stress, and create a culture that cares about development and the wellbeing of its employees. 

Time Management

Improving time management can be a great way for employees to manage their workloads and reduce job stress. The time management software that XCD provides include custom, flexible time sheets that can cater to employee's varying schedules. 

With mobile access, employees can access their time sheets at any time they like, helping them to plan our their schedules and better manage their time. 

Flexibility 

Flexible working hours are one of the most effective ways of managing and reducing work-related stress, according to many surveys and studies. Flexibility can mean different things, from a mix of working from home and the office, to reducing working hours to help create a better work-life balance for the employee. When an employer is willing to provide flexible working hours, it often reduces stress for the worker.

With COVID-19 forcing many employees to work from home throughout the pandemic, remote working has become the norm for many. This showed that it is possible for many jobs to be done just as well from home, and just at this article on rebuilding company culture states, it is an excellent opportunity for employers to implement a more flexible working culture to better help employees manage job stress and life commitment outside of work.

For some, a return back to the office was a welcome change. However, workplace stress was around long before COVID-19 and so the need for balance and flexibility is essential in lowering high levels of stress. XCD facilities flexible working hours with its cloud based software, meaning it is accessible from home, the coffee shop or even a different country.

These are just some ways that XCD can help to decrease work-related stress, making employee health a priority. Book a demo with us today, or feel free to get in touch if you have any questions you'd like answered! 

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