Combating Workplace Stress as a Small Business Owner
Almost every workplace has some form of stress. Chances are, the pressure of being a small business owner gets to you sometimes. Whether it is meeting deadlines, working with different personalities or trying to meet a sales quota, there are many potential factors that could cause anxiety for you and your employees. In addition to work issues, personal burdens could also affect your workplace dynamics. As a leader, how you deal with stress at work is important. April is Stress Awareness Month, so take this opportunity to give your employees tools to help them manage their stress; it will result in a more productive, cohesive work environment.
Make it a priority
Regardless of if you have a HR department or not, making stress management in the workplace a priority will assure your employees that upper management cares about them. Even though a small business may have less employees than a bigger company, that does not mean they are stress-free. Often, small business employees have a bigger workload since the number of staff members may be limited. Make sure your employees feel appreciated, and hold meetings to hear their opinions on what could be changed to prevent a toxic workplace. This will help you identify areas that may be causing your team anxiety, and allow you to suggest helpful resources for dealing with stress at work.
Provide one-on-one help
Addressing issues in an inclusive setting is essential, but having one-one-one discussions with employees will also be beneficial. If you notice a particular employee is struggling or seems overwhelmed, ask them what is bothering them. Offering suggestions is important, but as a leader you must also be a good listener. Ensuring your employees that their mental health matters to you will build an open and honest working relationship.
Tailor your management style
In addition to listening to concerns and offering resources, you should be familiar with your employees’ work styles. If you know certain employees get stressed out by micro-management, give them space to do their work and offer feedback once they are finished. An employee who is sensitive to verbal tones may need additional encouragement, and you might need to be careful about how you deliver criticism. Although your priority should be growing your small business, you should work with your employees to create a tension-free organization.
Give stress management related gifts
Aside from adjusting your leadership skills, there are other ways to help employees manage stress. Creating kits that include a stress ball, healthy snacks, Advil and a book about dealing with stress at work are great gifts for Employee Appreciation Day. Encouraging physical wellness can be a huge stress reliever for many people, so consider offering a gym membership discount. Making small efforts to promote stress management in the workplace will be appreciated by your team, and benefit your small business’s culture.
Do you want your employees to dread coming to work today? Probably not. Implementing these ideas will help both you and your associates manage your work while staying calm. Stress will always be present in the workplace to some level, but finding ways to cope will help your team be successful.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.