Today, we’re finishes our series on communication. Over the past several weeks, we’ve been sharing insights, strategies, and tips for communicating during all kinds of circumstances.
Our hope is that the valuable content we’ve provided will help you excel as a communicator and gain a highly coveted skill that can see you rise in both your personal and professional life.
In our first installment, which you can read here, we discussed 4 ways to help you communicate more effectively in meetings.
In our second installment, which you can read here, we discussed communication strategies you can easily master to help you become a more charismatic individual.
In our fifth installment, which you can read here, we shared 5 tips to help you become a better presenter in the workplace.
And today in our final installment, we’ll discuss how to communicate to your employees in times of stress.
Let’s face it: stress is inescapable when it comes to the workplace. It’s simply a part of the bargain. There are numerous causes of stress as well. According to https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/, some of those factors include the following:
- Excessively high workloads, with unrealistic deadlines making people feel rushed, under pressure, and overwhelmed.
- Insufficient workloads, making people feel that their skills are being underused.
- A lack of controlover work activities.
- A lack of interpersonal support or poor working relationships leading to a sense of isolation.
- Bullying or harassment.
- A blame culturewithin your business where people are afraid to get things wrong or to admit to making mistakes.
In nearly every one of these scenarios, however, communication can easily remedy the issue at hand. Unfortunately, the truth is that not enough employers are actively communicating with their teams when it comes to stress. Mental and emotional health are very much still on the backburner these days, but with the issue coming more and more into the limelight, places of employment are beginning to see why it’s so essential that we talk about the elephant in the room (stress) and work together toward developing solutions when it comes to managing it.
After all, according to HelpGuide.org: “having your employees suffering from work-related stress can result in lower productivity, lost workdays, and a higher turnover of staff. As a manager, supervisor, or employer, though, there are things you can do to lower workplace stress.”
Is it time to open the communication lines with your employees where it concerns stress?
HelpGuide, in collaboration with Harvard Health Publications, offers these tips:
Consult your employees
- Talk to them about the specific factors that make their jobs stressful. Some things, such as failing equipment, understaffing, or a lack of supervisor feedback may be relatively straightforward to address.
- Communicate with your employees one-on-one. Listening attentively face-to-face will make an employee feel heard and understood—and help to lower their stress and yours—even if you’re unable to change the situation.
- Give workers opportunities to participate in decisions that affect their jobs.
- Be sure the workload is suitable to employees’ abilities and resources; avoid unrealistic deadlines.
- Get employee input on work rules, when possible. If they’re involved in the process, they’ll be more committed.
- Deal with workplace conflicts in a positive way.
- Share information with employees to reduce uncertainty about their jobs and futures.
- Clearly define employees’ roles, responsibilities, and goals.
- Make management actions fair and consistent with organizational values.
Offer rewards and incentives
- Praise good work performance verbally and organization-wide.
- Respect the dignity of each employee; establish a zero-tolerance policy for harassment.
- Show that individual workers are valued and appreciated and that job stress is taken seriously.
- Schedule potentially stressful periods followed by periods of fewer tight deadlines.
Stress can be difficult to deal with, but it doesn’t have to dominate the workplace. If you want to help your employees manage stress, then communicating with them is the first step toward doing that. When you consult them, clarify expectations, and offer rewards and incentives in the process, you’re maintaining an open-door policy that allows communication to thrive in the workplace and thus enables all parties involved to deal with their stress head-on and manage it in healthier ways.