If you run your own business or are employed in a managerial position in someone else’s, then looking after your team is key.
As well as ensuring they have the support needed to work to their full potential, it is also vital to consider the pastoral side of your role. A good leader will always keep an eye on the emotional state of their employees and help them to feel happy at work too.
One thing to be on the lookout for here is how stressful working conditions may be impacting certain people. If you notice this happening, then you need to take action to deal with the situation.
How can you manage or avoid stressful conditions affecting staff?
Perhaps the best way to begin doing this is by making your workplace and the conditions staff exist in as low stress as possible. You could, for example, implement a firm policy on how customers treat your staff in person or on the phone to reduce any unpleasant incidents impacting them.
If your office is cluttered, then you could tidy up to make it feel like a nicer place to be in. Of course, some stressful conditions are simply caused by people not getting along! In this case, you need to act as a mediator to bring both parties together and solve the issue for everyone else’s good.
But what if stressful conditions cannot be avoided or totally eliminated? Your business may, for example, require staff to work long hours, have a full role at all times or deal with sometimes distressing material or situations.
The best approach to managing stress in others involves undergoing comprehensive training on dealing with it yourself and then using this knowledge to help others in your team or business.
Just how do stressful conditions affect staff output?
Some business owners may wonder if the above efforts are really worthwhile. Stressful conditions and the impact they have on staff performance should not be underestimated though. It is not only morally right to address these problems but also much better for your business. In simple terms, happier staff are more productive staff! But what specific ways can working conditions that induce stress in some harm their output?
More days off sick
The first way this can damage employee’s performance is through increased levels of absenteeism. As well as people being off more if they are stressed, the timescales involved with people feeling well enough to come back to work can be lengthy.
Stressful conditions could cause a staff member to take time off at regular intervals and for weeks at a time. This naturally is a barrier to them performing at their best.
Poor engagement with your business
For business owners to really get all they can from your employees, they have to feel engaged and connected with your business. If the working conditions they come into each day are stressful to them then this will just not happen. In fact, they will resent you for making them work in such a situation and disconnect from your goals. Ultimately, this will cause them to perform much worse over the long term.
Inability to produce their best
Even if staff do love your brand and believe in what you are doing, stressful conditions may make it impossible to perform at their best. If there is one colleague who is being nasty to them each day, they will simply not be in the right mental state to work to their maximum potential. This is the same for conditions where noise, clutter or poor lighting may affect them.
Customer service will drop
If you have staff that are stressed by where they work, then it is unlikely that they will deal with customers in a sympathetic or pleasant way. As they will be feeling tired and irritable from the constant stress of their working conditions, they are highly likely to take this out on your customers when speaking to them. Customer service is key to the success of any modern company and the decreased performance in this area could be disastrous.
Try to manage stress before it becomes an issue
The good news around this area is that, as a manager or business owner, you have the power to address staff concerns around working conditions. This gives you the edge in helping to avoid them or manage them as needed. The above shows just why this is so key – if you do not, then the subsequent drop off in staff performance could derail your whole organisation. It is much better to do the right thing before then and help staff to deal with any stress they feel through the environment they work in.