Preventing Work Stress

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Stress in the workplace is occupational disease number one. Lot of people run the risk of a burn-out and other work-related mental illnesses every year.

The approach to work-related stress is tailor-made, because the cause is different for every employee. You can do the necessary to reduce the chance of it. For that it's important to understand where work stress comes from. Before we give some tips, we therefore briefly discuss the possible causes of work stress.

Causes of work stress

Work stress can have a large number of different causes. They can be in both the work and the private sphere. The culprit isn't always a large amount of work. Many people even like it when they have enough work to do. In addition, too little work can lead to stress complaints.

Problems arise precisely when an employee can no longer meet the requirements of the work. For example, because he has insufficient options to arrange the work himself. In addition, it's possible that he has too few buffers, such as support and appreciation from the manager or colleagues.

10 tips for employers providing business services:

1. Remove work stress from the taboo sphere

Work stress is still a taboo. Both employers and employees find it difficult to address this issue. For example, many employees don't like to give the impression that they have too much work on their plates. So ask whether your employees can still handle the work and have sufficient control options. For example during a performance interview or work consultation.

2. Recognize the signals

Different signals may indicate work stress. It's important to recognize it on time. Be alert for high absenteeism figures, missed deadlines, overtime, a large number of mistakes and irritations between employees. These matters don't necessarily have to indicate work stress, but can be an important indicator. If in doubt, consult a health and safety expert .

3. Ensure proper planning

It's important to organize the work well. This ensures that all activities are properly distributed among your staff. If your employees also have a say in the planning, you remove an important stress factor. A lack of control options increases the risk of work stress. With self-scheduling you give employees more say about their working hours.

4. Consultation on quality requirements

Some people place unnecessarily high demands on their work. These perfectionist employees get a lot of work involved, which increases the chance of work stress. To prevent this from becoming a problem, you can discuss the quality requirements that you believe the work must meet. Perhaps you or the customer are satisfied with a seven or eight, while your employee always goes for a ten.

5. Hand out pat on the back

It's important that employees receive sufficient support from their supervisor. As a result, they experience fewer stress complaints at times when the workload is high. Handing out pats is one of the most obvious ways to do that on an individual level. In addition, you can of course celebrate success together with the entire team.

6. Have employees support each other

Colleague support also helps against work stress. A Tilburg doctoral research shows that this reduces work stress, specially among women. Offer employees the opportunity to support each other by organizing informal activities. This way they not only get to know each other better, but they can also exchange experiences about, for example, combining work and private life .

7. Allow space to let go of the work

Employees function better if they can occasionally let go of the work completely. That isn't easy if they have to be accessible day and night on the laptop or smartphone of the company. Therefore, make clear agreements about accessibility and encourage your employees to use the switch. As a result, you benefit from employees who return fully rested from a day off.

8. Offer extra space for private matters

Of course, employees already have many options for arranging private matters. This allows them to exercise their right to legal leave . Since these options are by no means always adequate, many employers offer more leave options than required. You could also redistribute the work if an employee temporarily needs more space for private matters.

9. Show your face in the workplace

If you regularly show your face in the workplace as a director, you contribute to the enthusiasm of your staff. This in turn leads to less work stress, because research from ArboNed shows that inspired employees are more productive and more energetic.

In any case, make sure that you're present, show an interest in your staff, and roll up your sleeves yourself.

10. Send your employees on training

Competences and skills also play an important role in work stress. If you pay attention to the development of your staff, they can better meet the demands of the work. You can also think of training or courses in the field of time management or stress reduction. They teach employees how to use their time or energy in a smarter way.

Pay attention

In a collective labor agreement or health and safety catalog, work stress or work pressure is often dealt with. Check whether it contains agreements or measures that apply to your company.

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