At Klausen we have had hundreds of counselling sessions with overloaded employees for more than 10 years. What these counselling sessions have in common is the positive effect they have had on employees. This experience has given us in-depth knowledge about what works when you have an employee who needs help getting back on track. This is why our courses for managers can give you the right tools to spot and prevent failure to thrive in the workplace, and thereby be able to ease stressed employees.
In this blog entry, you can read about five of the efficient management tools that can help you fight stress in the workplace.
A manager’s toolbox to fight stress
It is important to never stand by if you see emerging sign of stress, or if generally, you are worried about one or more of your employees’ mental health. It is rare that persons suffering from stress can spot it themselves. Luckily, there is several management tools, that you can use to prevent overloaded employees, and in the end, to prevent stress and notifications of illness in the company. Below you will find five of the best tools, that we use at Klausen.
# 1 Create joint evaluations and collections of experience
When an employee is affected by stress, it does not only affect their well-being. In most cases, it can also be seen in his or her performance at work. Therefore, the first management tool for stress prevention is about joint evaluations with the employee. Regular evaluations and accumulations of experience ensure that you as a manager can take a thermometer measurement in your department or in the company, and in this way, you can quickly see whether there are employees who suffer from overload and incipient stress.
# 2 Set aside time for active teaching and learning about stress
If you want to prevent stress in the company, active teaching and general knowledge about stress is an incredibly effective management tool. A good place to start is by booking one of our effective and preventative stress lectures. There are several reasons why this is an effective method of stress prevention, but two reasons, in particular, need to be highlighted:
- First, increased knowledge about stress and congestion will also help to strengthen your employees’ knowledge of typical symptoms and their prevention. This means that several of the employees themselves have the opportunity to stop at an early state of stress before it becomes persistent and develops into stress. If an employee still ends up getting stressed, the employee and you as a manager will be sharper on how you can handle this together in the best possible way.
- Additionally, the fact that you and the company puts time aside to learn about stress, sends a signal that conditions in the workplace can be changed and improved. It is a mindset that creates positive thinking in both departments and entire companies. That alone can have a positive effect and counteract stress.
# 3 Create an environment with general acceptance and openness in the company
In continuation of point number two, the third management tool is about the importance of you as a manager making sure to create an environment where there is general acceptance and openness about difficult topics. The sooner an employee opens up and talks to you about stress symptoms, the sooner it can be treated as well. Unfortunately, it is rarely that easy. Today, stress is still a taboo in many places, which is why many people end up walking around with a state of congestion and stress symptoms without talking to anyone about it. This can result in the employee eventually having to report sickness due to stress.
When we choose to call this point “general acceptance and openness”, it is because employees can also end up in an overloaded state if they keep others feeling inside because there is no openness in the company. Therefore, it is in every way an advantage that you as a leader create an accepting and open culture, where it is okay to talk about difficult things. You do this, among other things, by not being reluctant to talk about difficult subjects yourself. You are not only preventing stress symptoms. You also prevent your employees from holding back their emotions at all, and thus from thriving in the workplace.
# 4 Educate in-house stress experts
The fourth management tool is another effective way to reduce the risk of having a stressed employee. It is about training so-called in-house experts in the department or company. An expert will be fully aware of what stress is, what it entails, and how to usually spot an employee on their way to a stressful state. In addition to an in-house stress expert being able to handle situations where you as a leader need help, it will also raise the seriousness of companies. When you allocate resources to educate an in-house expert, it signals that you give high priority to the well-being of your employees and wish them the best.
# 5 Ensure a balance between busy and quiet periods in the workplace
The last tool you as a manager can work with within your department or company is what we call the checkout 2 model. When we call it a model, it does not mean that you now have to familiarize yourself with complicated material. In fact, our idea behind the model is incredibly simple: What you withdraw at checkout 1, you will pay at checkout 2.
This means in all its simplicity that you need to ensure a balance between busy periods and quiet periods in the department or company. In other words: If your company has just completed a period of tight deadlines and high-stress loads, it must be followed by a period of more calmness in the department. During the quiet period, it is important that you make sure to pick up on the high load period so that this period becomes associated with learning that can be utilized and stored in your organization.
Be the change you want to create
The last and resounding piece of advice in this post is that you as a leader must be the change you want to create. It is not so much a management tool as it is your mental attitude as a leader. When you are a leader, you must never forget how important you are to the culture of the department or the company. Therefore, make sure to implement some good tools in your work day, and have an open and accepting approach to your employees. Already here you have taken the first step towards a workplace with good well-being.