What’s Stressing Out Your Employees?

Jo Ilfeld | Executive Leadership Coach| What’s Stressing Out Your Employees?

Stressed employees are unproductive employees. Companies lose billions annually because of stressed-out employees who are unproductive and uninvested. A survey on workers under stress revealed that 41% felt less productive, 33% felt less engaged, and 15% felt compelled to look for a new job— all bad news for a business. Plus, they aren’t just employees, they’re also colleagues and valuable team members, and their stressors are definitely your concerns.

Emotional Struggles

One of the worst impacts of the pandemic is the huge alteration in living and working conditions. Employees could previously mentally prepare for work through their commute, or detach themselves from household troubles at the office. Now, they’re cooped up at home, potentially with the entire household. There’s little to no separation between personal and work life, and this could bring on emotional turmoil as stressors from both are merged.

According to the World Health Organization, employee stress is further exacerbated when they’re tasked to do things beyond their skillset and abilities without the right support from a manager or their peers. While there’s little you can do to provide solutions to more personal problems, you can at least relieve the workplace stress by cultivating a network of support among your team. Encourage them to open up to each other, perhaps even hold meetings dedicated to just catching up.

Financial Stress

Your employees may have been able to keep their jobs through the health crisis, but their friends and family may not. This means that your workers may be supporting more people now, leaving them financially burdened. There are a few ways to solve financial stress, yet too many workers aren’t aware of these methods due to a lack of financial literacy. This is why increasingly more employers have offered financial wellness programs to their workers. Through these initiatives, employees can learn how to budget, monitor debts, and start saving, among other things. This allows them to be more financially healthy and knowledgeable.

One of the most important lessons that they can learn from these programs is how to take out loans and how to manage them properly. For one, when employees know how to take full advantage of a personal loan, they can use that money for debt consolidation, household expenses, and even leisure activities. Particularly for employees who are anxious about debts with high-interest rates, a personal loan could help pay for these, and keep debt at a manageable amount. This could lead them toward a more sustainable financial future. Another key lesson your employees should learn is budgeting. You can pull in a financial advisor to consult with them and help them create monthly spending and saving plans. This gives them peace of mind and lessens their worries about future expenses.

Job Insecurity

The pandemic has upended so many lives and jobs. Those who got to keep their jobs may possibly have had reduced working hours or have needed to adjust to sudden changes in work arrangements. It used to be that employees join the workforce in entry-level positions and steadily work their way up until retirement— in the same organization. However, with all the pivoting and changes businesses have had to do amidst the pandemic, and what with remote work, this trajectory may have changed drastically, causing job insecurity.

Open communication and regular feedback could help assuage your workers’ qualms. Take time to talk to them about their performance, and ask them how you can help them improve and perform better. Something as simple as assuring them that they’re not going to lose their jobs from a couple of bad days could go a long way. It eases the pressure and burden that they may be feeling.

Caring for your employees equates to caring for your business. After all, you’re only as good and as productive as your team.

Article specially written for www.incitetoleadership.com by Audrey Cohen

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Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

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