Employees face pressures in their jobs on a daily basis, and too much pressure can leave them on the verge of burnout. Immense stress not only affects the employee, but it affects the entire culture of a workplace. When employees are stressed and struggling to balance work and life demands, employers may see reduced productivity and an increase in absenteeism.
An employee may suffer internally with workplace stress and work-life demands, but stress and burnout are heavily influenced by external factors such as management style and work environment. Employers can play an influential role in educating their staff about the importance of stress management and work-life balance. Here are a few ways to express that good mental health should be a priority for all employees.
Share Helpful Information from the Start. One of the first touchpoints a company has with each employee is orientation. This is an excellent opportunity to share the importance of managing stress and balancing work-life demands. Consider surveying you employees about their strategies to managing stress on the job and how they find a balance between work and life responsibilities. Share their compiled responses and the appropriate resources in the orientation materials. Consider a calendar that tracks time periods of heightened stress for your employees and share with new staff who can plan accordingly. And lastly, educate new employees about any company policies and supports that relate to stress management and work-life balance.
Model Healthy Behaviors. One of the best ways to educate employees on the importance of stress management and work-life balance is to lead by example. Staff members feel more comfortable taking care of themselves when leaders in your company model healthy behaviors. If leadership makes healthy behaviors a priority, it signals to all employees that it’s a priority for the company. If managers take breaks from work to eat lunch or take a short walk, it encourages employees to also take breaks. The same can be said for work-life balance. If managers use flexible time to schedule doctor’s appointments, it signifies to staff that these practices are not only acceptable but encouraged.
Keep Employees Informed of Policies. After a new employee is onboarded to the company, the responsibilities begin to pick up, and stress kicks in. It’s easy to become overwhelmed. Make education around stress management and work-life balance an ongoing part of staff communication. Send written or verbal reminders to staff about the resources that support mental health, and encourage employees to use available benefits, such as EAP services or PTO. Consider sharing helpful tips and tricks that help work-life balance in employee communications. Ongoing education is key to keeping good stress management and work-life balance at the top of mind for employees.
Work expectations, coworker relationships, and staff management can all lead to an increase in work-related stress. High levels of stress can result in an increased risk for burnout or mental health conditions. As an employer, take time to educate your employees on stress management and work-life balance to support employee mental health and create a healthier, happier, and more productive workplace.