November 1, 2023
How HR Can Help Improve Overall Employee Well-Being
The top two employee stressors are financial/economic and work-life balance. Employee Stress levels have increased year over year for the past decade. The U.S. and Canada are tied with China and East Asia for the most stressed workforces in the world (52%). Younger generations and remote workers are reporting stress at higher rates. (Gallup State of the Workforce) HR managers and growth teams can set employees up for greater success with meaningful support on the well-being front.
Stress Management Outlets
Role-Specific Safe Zones
HR teams can create safe places for employees to congregate and connect. Salespeople, for example, often need a place to blow off steam daily. The intensity of this customer-facing, high-stakes role can become overwhelming if sales reps bottle their frustrations. The need to let out pressure doesn’t mean the sales rep wants to quit or despises the company. They just need the space to express the thoughts and emotions clouding their heads, and to think through solutions. Sales employees especially benefit from chatting with other salespeople. But professionals in the other departments (product development, quality assurance, engineering, accounting, and beyond) benefit from talking things out with employees who understand where they’re coming from.
- HR teams can create on-site department-level hangout spaces where teams can congregate on breaks, mornings, and evenings.
- Sponsor a regular happy hour or coffee hour at a nearby restaurant. Often the host establishment is willing to offer discounts.
- Provide an online coaching platform that can connect employees to a coach with work experience in their exact role.
Opportunities for Non-Work Connection
HR teams can increase employee-driven connections. They can introduce opportunities for employees to engage in fun activities that bring them closer together like cooking classes, painting, working out, or gardening. They can bring in a guest speaker to teach various hobbies and workers discover where their interests overlap. TaskHuman’s mobile coaching platform opens a world of possibilities that are easy to implement in the group setting as well as individually. Remote employees especially enjoy connecting with virtual colleagues outside of work. A coach can also suggest specific workplace action items that stressed employees can do to build relationships such as inviting one another to lunch rather than going alone, or asking co-workers thoughtful questions. Camaraderie injected into a team can dissolve work stress or at least transform it into an exciting and useful type of energy.
Employees may struggle with taking any action at all to reduce the negative effects of work stress. That’s because when someone experiences increased levels of cortisol and other damaging stress hormones their thinking capacity diminishes. High-stress workers end up aiming all their executive functioning capacity toward getting through their day, not looking at ways to improve the next one. Coaches can help to call employees’ attention back to the most important thing, their mental and physical health.
HR teams should spiritedly promote the coaching platform and services that are available to employees. They can highlight the managers who are actively working with a coach as posters for its importance in workplace productivity. Coaches will help employees uncover the stress-receiving outlets that suit their individuality whether it’s meditation, hobbies, or any other healthy activities that rejuvenate the mind and body.
Stress Resolving Skills
Communication, tools, and communication processes can cut stress off at the root. As workers become skilled at verbalizing their concerns and needs, as well as more adept at interpreting other co-workers’ communication styles, they work more effectively with colleagues and managers.
Prompt Communication – When workers face challenging situations while working on a team or with a particular superior, they address their concerns at the forefront thereby ending any chance for speculative worry and discomfort in the unknown.
Communication Style or EQ – Employees use language everyone can understand. The intended messages come out clearly minus the emotional charge that sometimes results when teams lack communication training. Mark Schneider is the CEO of Nestle and a self-proclaimed introvert. He’s also a skilled communicator who’s learned to preface his conversations by letting listeners know upfront about his introverted nature. Doing so has freed him up to communicate in his own way, stretch a little more over time, and dissolve any misunderstandings that he may be cold or aloof. His people see Schneider in his quiet nature for who he is, a thoughtful, caring, and highly strategic thinker.
Workers who understand their own communication style and those of their colleagues can clearly interpret what everyone is trying to say and tailor their messages to enhance clarity. Conflict still may result when workers share opposing feedback, but it results in a productive solution and preserves respect among the team.
Workplace performance skills– Where is the learning difficulty? Where is the skill barrier? HR teams can diligently connect. Workers with educational tools and learning resources that are most useful to the individual employee, given their individual needs and learning style. Survey employees, and talk with them. Provide more variety and freedom to choose a curriculum or coaching process that helps develop the individual.
Management Training – Champion Health’s Workplace Health Report found managers and leaders were blamed for 27% of employees’ work stress. Interestingly, the three larger stressors- workload at 73%, lack of control at 31%, and lack of support at 29% stem from managerial oversight. HR leaders are swiftly implementing manager training and development as a first priority for maintaining healthy teams. Today’s market challenges require highly skilled managers who can lead with intuition, compassion, and grit. 1:1 leadership coaching can help managers upskill quickly because it happens in frequent, on-the-job busts that drive relevancy and retention. Managers can effectively convert their new knowledge into consistent behaviors as 1:1 coaching increases the embedding of new information.
HR Leaders and HR teams play a key role in unlocking workers’ performance potential because so much of it is held up in the form of stress and anxiety. HR leaders are looking for different solutions that meet individuals where they are and also connect them with their colleagues in enriching relationships. TaskHuman works with organizations across the globe to meet their HR goals on time and budget. Let us show you how.
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