Workplace Survival: Practical Ways to Reduce Stress
The hallmark of being a working professional seems to be stress and more stress: a 2014 study reported that approximately 73% of workers manage a mental health condition related to work related stress, and that Americans spend over $300 billion on stress-related healthcare. The American Institute of Stress confirmed that the most common reasons for workplace stress include personnel issues, workload, work-life balance and job security. While these stresses won’t subside anytime soon, or may be out of your control, you can still control the way you manage and cope with stress. According to a February 2016 study, one cure for stress is supporting and encouraging your colleagues. The technique requires teammates to verbalize support of their coworkers, which leads to decreased levels of stress and increased job satisfaction. It’s important to note that the act of giving support proved to be more beneficial than receiving kudos. Here are three stess management techniques that will support your coworkers and help everyone go to work happy:
- Reward and recognize overcommunication. Seek out coworkers who do more than communicate the bare minimum of project updates. Did someone document project learnings or best practices? Equally beneficial, thank someone who admits “I don’t know” and asks for help. Supporting team members in times of success and trials will create stronger bonds and reward a culture of vulnerability.
- Be kind during moments of change. Be patient and supportive when someone tests out a new way of working. This can be as simple as checking in with a team member every so often, or showing signs of support even when a pilot fails. Small acts of kindness during change management promotes risk-taking as a team culture.
- Give support to be supported. Give props to people on your team, especially during times of distress and low morale. Colleagues will be more likely to offer up their time and attention to you when they’ve felt and received the same kindness in the past. This technique will also promote a culture of selflessness, helping team members consider others’ needs above their own.
Takeaway: Stress management as a team also improves workplace cultures overall. Supporting and encouraging coworkers lays the foundation for better communication, collaboration, and self-awareness.