This Stress Awareness Month, consider these ideas to reduce employee stress and promote wellbeing among your team members.
The employment landscape has changed entirely during the pandemic. Employees are working remotely in home offices and similar settings, and they’re looking for signs that their employers have their backs. Employee stress can be real, and your team members that are experiencing stress will look for new jobs where mental health and wellbeing are priorities.
April is Stress Awareness Month, which is the perfect time to think through ways your teams can drive toward business objectives without feeling overwhelmed. To help you get started, here are 5 ideas for when you want to reduce employee stress.
1. Promote Mental Health Awareness
It’s always helpful when companies encourage their employees to talk about mental health. To start the conversation around mental health at your company, consider these ideas:
• Schedule mental health experts as guest speakers.
• Create forums for discussing mental health and wellness.
• Hold regular training sessions where employees receive mental health-related guidance and tips.
You can also promote mental health awareness by providing free counseling sessions and related services. Always remember that your employees will perform to their full potential when their mental health has also reached its full potential.
2. Limit Long Hours
From time to time, certain projects require team members to burn the midnight oil. For example, if your team is prepping an RFP, getting ready for a sales pitch, or organizing an event, it’s normal and acceptable to work into the evening.
Just make sure you are limiting how often your employees are asked to work more than a full day. Not only does limiting long hours help with employee stress, studies show that working long hours can be a waste of time. One report indicates that workers are only really productive for about 3 hours out of an 8-hour workday
3. Set Aside Quiet Zones
Many workplaces can be full of hustle and bustle. The organized chaos of a vibrant office can be an important part of corporate culture in some cases. But your team members should always have an opportunity to step away from that chaos to enjoy a little peace and quiet.
Set aside quiet zones within your workplace where individuals can take brief mental health sessions. These quiet zones don’t have to be break areas. Some employees may just prefer to do their work in quieter areas, which can help with both productivity and mental health.
4. Encourage Breaks & Vacations
Make sure Travelers know they won’t get a gold star at the end of the year for leaving vacation days on the table. Everyone should be using their vacation days. Doing so is important for both mental and physical health.
In fact, taking a vacation every 2 years can reduce the chance of heart disease or heart attack when compared to taking vacations every 6 years. Research also shows that high performers cannot maintain their excellence without regular breaks from work.
So, encourage Travelers to take breaks during the day. And encourage them to take vacation time away from the office. It’s better for employees. And it’s better for employers.
5. Trip Extensions for Leisure
Finally, as a Travel Manager, there’s one thing you can do to significantly reduce the stress level of your Travelers: Give them the opportunity to extend business trips over the weekend for a little leisure time.
This last point actually builds on some of the points above. When you allow your Travelers to extend their business trips, you are in essence giving them the chance to take brief vacations. You can also communicate that this perk is meant to help with mental health and wellness, which promotes the idea of overall wellbeing among your employees.
The term “bleisure” is becoming more relevant, and allowing bleisure could also help with recruitment and retention among your workforce.
Get the Support Your Travelers Deserve
Your business deserves a travel management company (TMC) that can help maximize its travel-related ROI. And your Travelers deserve a TMC that can provide support before, during and after a business trip.
That’s exactly what we do at JTB Business Travel, where we use a common-sense approach to provide industry-leading services and recommendations. Contact us to learn more about what we can do as your TMC.