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Handling Employee Stress in the Workplace

Jul 31, 2008
Handling employee stress in the workforce is no easy task. Some employees rise to the occasion while others cringe with fear or avoid the situation completely. This article will provide you with information that can help you develop a solid workforce that won't crack under pressure. Whether you're an executive, a manager or a team leader, the following information will be beneficial to you.

Knowing how your staff will respond to stress and employee conflict could be the key to building an organization that can withstand even the toughest challenges. Being able to identify issues that cause stress and the employees who are most affected will help organizations develop strategies that will diffuse high pressure situations quickly.

One of the easiest ways to motivate and generate energy in your workplace is to create an environment that reduces stress. Employees who experience frequent, high levels of stress have lower productivity levels and quality of output, and end up costing your company more in missed workdays and high turnover due to job dissatisfaction.

Here are some simple things you can do in your organization to minimize employee conflict and create a work environment that reduces employee stress:

- Let your employees create their own personal atmosphere. The addition of plants, family photos or other personal items will make any office or cubicle seem less formal. By surrounding themselves with pleasant surroundings, employees may find that their attitudes are pleasant as well.

- Implement more team building activities. Set up a softball team, bowling team or a book club and make it for employees only. By letting employees meet and socialize in settings that don't require them to work on stressful projects together, they can create trusting work relationships that will help them when it counts the most.

- Always thank your employees for their hard work. You'd be surprised how much a simple compliment can do for morale.

- Give employees the opportunity to make decisions that will directly affect their job performance. By allowing them to participate, they will gain a sense of power (instead of always taking orders) which reduces stress.

- Get insight into how and why your employees experience stress and employee conflict. Stress and employee conflict often arise from a misalignment of company perspectives and abilities required to perform specific job functions.

Another way to reduce conflict and stress in the workplace is to employ the use of employee assessments to learn more about your workforce. Employee assessments provide the best insight when it comes to managing employee stress and conflict. They can help your organization build cohesive teams, match employees to jobs that they are able to perform well in and identify the organizational alignment issues that are at the root of any conflict. Assessments can give you the missing information you need to solve the issues causing the stress and conflict, while also measuring productivity, quality of work, initiative, teamwork, problem solving skills, response to stress and motivation. Your organization can use this information to develop strategies and build solid, dependable workforce teams.
About the Author
Jim Sirbasku is co-founder and CEO of Profiles International, a leading provider of human resource management solutions and employment assessments for businesses worldwide. For more information about using assessments to handle employee stress and workplace conflict , visit our website.
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