Managing Employee Morale and Stress

Marcelina Hardy, MSEd, BCC
Managing employee morale and stress

Managing employee morale and stress is important to your business. When your staff is unhappy, productivity decreases. To ensure that your business runs efficiently, it's worth spending time working on the backbone of it: Your workers.

What to Do When Managing Employee Morale and Stress

Morale and stress go hand-in-hand. Raising morale will decrease stress. This is why it's important to pay attention to how your personnel feels when they are at work and encourage positive relations in the office.

Plan Activities

Everyone needs a break so encourage people to do so with planned activities. You can have a potluck lunch, picnic, or meet at a restaurant. This allows people to get away from their desk and de-stress, while forming closer relationships with their co-workers.

Encouraging Friendly Co-Worker Relationships

While you may not want your staff to become social to the point of it interfering with their work, it's essential that they intermingle while in the office. It helps them release tension by talking to one another and promotes cohesiveness, which could mean great problem solving. Brainstorming is another benefit of encouraging working as a group - several heads are better than one.

Open Door Policy

Invite your workers to your office for casual conversation. Establishing rapport can drastically increase morale. They will feel they are supported and can come to you with questions and problems, which means you can intervene in a situation, that could have potentially been detrimental to a part of your business.

Ask for Ideas

People want to feel valued in their job, so ask them for ideas. If you ask during a meeting, you may not get much of a response. Instead, make a suggestion box and put it in a central location. People can submit their ideas with their names or anonymously. This way, you will know straight from the source what will make your employees happy.

Provide Sick Leave

When people are ill, they don't work to their full potential. Therefore, when you have a sick employee, who comes to work, and gets others ill, you end up with many people who are not working as well as they normally do. The best way to combat this domino effect is to allow workers to take sick leave as they need it. Of course, it's important to pay close attention to workers who may be abusing their leave (asking for a doctor's note is a good way to combat this).

Avoid Overworking Your Workers

While it may be good for business that you have a lot of tasks for your employees, it won't be good for their morale and health. People who feel overwhelmed feel defeated, discouraged, helpless and stressed. This stress can cause a multitude of health problems such as increased illness, heart conditions, and hypertension, which means an increase in sick leave use and in doctor's visits. Instead of giving your workers more than they can handle, consider hiring more people. If that is not in your budget, giving your current workers a raise or bonus can drastically increase morale and give them the motivation to work at their best.

Recognize Good Work

Everyone likes to be appreciated. While you may not think about it often, try to take a look at the job well done by some of your employees. Whenever something someone did stands out as extraordinary, acknowledge it. You can give the person a pat on the back, bonus, or recognition during a meeting.

Refer Employees for Outside Help

If you sense an someone is having a difficult time, discuss it with him or her. If the solution to the person's problem is beyond your control, refer him or her to seek outside support. Some companies have an EPA (Employee Assistance Programs), which provides counseling on many different topics (marriage, finances, work, etc.).

Happy Boss - Happy Employees

Keep your own morale in mind when you try to help your employees. If you aren't happy with your job, they won't be either. Figure out how you can increase your morale and decrease your stress; then take steps in managing employee morale and stress.

Managing Employee Morale and Stress