Employees feeling on-the-job stress might struggle without a little help and guidance. Where can leaders step in? Some stress-management techniques for managers to keep in mind.
Sure, work stress is a fact of life, and it may be unavoidable when there’s a tough-to-digest project or a staffing crunch. But, as a manager, what can you do to ensure that the daily grind is a little more manageable for everyone? Here are a few ideas:
Keep expectations in check. You may think that your team can move mountains, but perhaps you shouldn’t force them to move mountains every day of the week. A study from Robert Half’s Accountemps noted 22 percent of workers cited unrealistic expectations of managers or supervisors as a main stress point. “If you work for a manager or CFO, the heavier the workload, the more it can add to stress, as you try to balance demands of the job with personal responsibilities,” the firm says in a blog post.
Remove things from employees’ plates. If staff are having to deal with particularly difficult problems that are outside the norm, that might be the time to outsource the normal stuff. As Thrive Global notes, a way to ease stress is to offload outside-the-office stuff, but things inside the office can be fair game as well. “If you find yourself constantly busy and without any time to relax, it is highly suggested that you find something in your life you can outsource,” marketing consultant Adeyemi Adetilewa writes.
Understand when a role is changing. Maybe a job looked like one thing when it started—and now, a few years in, it looks like something else entirely. An article on the Society for Human Resource Management website notes that it’s important in cases like this to help employees build resilience, whether through training or by helping improve their work-life balance. Speaking to SHRM’s Dana Wilkie, Happify Health Chief Scientist Acacia Parks notes that the manager’s role is to focus on employee resilience. “The answer isn’t to liberate workers from having to learn new things, but for workers to become more resilient so that they are better able to handle this type of challenge,” Parks says.
Bring in reinforcements. And hey, if there’s room in your budget to add someone else to the team, now could be the time to do just that. Robert Half notes that, as a manager, a good sign to look for in terms of adding a new employee is if you’re often finding yourself pitching in on tasks that managers wouldn’t usually do.