‘Tis the season to be …. stressed? We know stress is on the rise. But how much does this really affect folks?
According to the American Institute of Stress:
- 44% of Americans feel more stressed than they did 5 years ago
- 3 out of 4 doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments, and
- Stress increases the risk of stroke by 50%, heart disease by 40%, and heart attack by 25%.
While you can’t save your staff from all stress, you can control the amount of stress they deal with in the office. Question is, what’s the No. 1 thing driving them crazy? Spoiler alert: it’s probably not what you think it is.
What’s stressing out folks?
Career monitoring site Comparably showed the top stress cited by 42% of employees is “unclear goals.”
Some of that can fall back on managers’ shoulders. While it’s ultimately up to staffers to find their path, managers can help them get there.
How you can help:
- Break out the leadership compass. The best kind of leader is the one who helps her people develop. Share details with your team about current operations happening across the company. Be honest and transparent about any changes or challenges the firm is facing. Encourage questions, thinking-outside-the-box and suggestions from the team.
- Don’t stick to annual conversations about career goals. Rather, have fewer, less formal conversations throughout the year. No matter how often these meetings happen, dive into the employee’s career goals and overall interests. Keep up with these meetings regularly and you’ll help employees’ eyes on the prize.
- Ask for their input. When you’re mapping out a project, ask staffers to speak up on what they can contribute and if there’s any areas they want to branch into. They’ll appreciate being in charge of what they get to learn and how they can make it happen. Plus, it’s more likely to push people out of their comfortable zones and not just volunteer for projects they already have the skills for.
- Ask for updates. Reach out from time to time and ask what they’ve learned so far and how they’re doing. See how they’re using their new skills and knowledge and if they like it so far.
When employees are in supportive, positive environments, it gives them the room they need to be productive and creative – without all the stress.