Leadership Competencies

4 ways to handle workplace stress today

Rigid deadlines, micromanagement, huge workloads and uncertainty can create the perfect storm for employee stress and fear. These factors can be a slow poison to any business, not only affecting employee health but also their levels of production.

And as leaders, it’s crucial that you find a way to manage stress and fear at work.

However, to get this done, you’ll need to pinpoint workplace stressors and fear within your team.


What strategies help employees beat fear and anxiety?

Managing stress and fear is not easy, especially if you want to do it in a healthy way. Plus, it can be even more difficult when you’re tasked with helping others in your workplace.

Fortunately, if you can first recognize it in your people, you’ll be able to help reduce it before it impacts your entire team.

Explore four ways you can help employees engage and fight their fears:

1. Show emotional intelligence and empathy

Employees need to know you understand how they’re feeling. Make sure you let them know you’re there for them and are committed to motivating them. Take time to help them eliminate negative self-talk. It’s easy to see the glass is half empty rather than half full. Encourage them to think positively.

2. Display vulnerability and be honest

Transparency is key when trying to minimize your employees’ stress. Let them know how you feel. When you communicate your own worries and fears, that can build trust with employees.

3. Pivot at the right time

Try new things with your team and see what works. Because it’s never too late to adjust your leadership style to better support your employees. Maybe change up meeting times to figure out what works better for your team. Chat with them to find out what they think and feel, then adjust accordingly.

4. Reach out and provide support

As a leader, it’s important to be the support system your people need. Speak with them often. Ask them to share their thoughts. Also, share your own tips for reducing stress and fear.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Promote more breaks: Avoid working nonstop for eight hours.
  • Create a “groove:” Figure out what hours you work best, so you can be more productive.
  • Abstain from the “what if” game: Don’t worry about things that haven’t happened.

Eliminating fear and stress from your work environment

Figuring out where fear already exists in your organization is one of the first ways to disarm it. Your employees may not tell you, especially if they’re extremely stressed out. In addition, while they may still be performing at high levels, their stress may go unnoticed until they’re on the brink.

Before they’re completely overtaken with fear, show empathy, offer support, make changes and be transparent.

And while anxiety may never truly go away, you can commit to creating a workplace where fear is minimal.

This article first appeared on the Insperity blog.


Related Resources

21-day challenge to spread positivity and reduce stress

Addressing the root causes of stress in yourself and others

Category: Leadership Competencies

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About the Author: Maureen Orey

Dr. Maureen Orey is the Founder/CEO of the Workplace Learning & Performance Group, Inc. a boutique corporate training and consulting firm based in San Diego, Ca.  She is passionate about helping individuals and organizations be more r

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