We know for sure that coping with your own stress is quite difficult. But being a leader is even more difficult because you need to make sure that your team members stay in good spirits and are productive. We tell you how to help your subordinates avoid feelings of stress, emotional burnout and fragmentation.
The workflow is getting more and more complex. Since many of us actually work 24/7, stress and burnout are becoming commonplace. Staying productive and efficient when you feel a lot of pressure is very difficult.
It is unlikely that the intensity of our workflow will change anytime soon. Therefore, we need to build up our ability to resist pressure and become more emotionally resilient. A manager needs to focus on personal growth and employee development.
Harvard Business School experts believe that investing in colleagues is the first and most important step that will allow them to unleash their creativity, increase their potential, and be productive all the time.
1. Create a sense of well-being
Overall stress symptoms are rising globally. Stress can be contagious. But the opposite is also true: when one team member feels happy and healthy, that feeling spreads to other employees.
The Gallup team observed 105 work teams over six three-month periods. The conclusion was that those team members who talked about their well-being were able to transmit that feeling to their colleagues 20 percent of the time.
You need to understand what it is that leads to feelings of well-being and make those practices a priority for your team and yourself. This could be personal growth training, extra time for employee training, exercise, a new approach to meetings, and a flexible schedule for your colleagues.
2. Allow to be offline after hours
Most employees don’t just work in the office. According to studies, they also perform some kind of work task in their free time. This is due in part to the fact that many people have trouble disconnecting from work, which in turn leads to emotional burnout, kills productivity, and makes your co-workers miserable
The harsh business culture requires us to be constantly alert, as productive and efficient as possible. It doesn’t take into account the time it takes a person to recover. Even the world’s best athletes take vacations.
So you need to set time limits: require your subordinates to do their best during office hours and not to contact them about business issues after office hours. Create rules: no work emails after 7 p.m. and no calls to employees about work on weekends
3. Teach how to deal with chaos
Neurobiology research shows that meditation and mindfulness exercises help the brain develop. It also makes it easier for us to develop healthy habits that promote emotional stability and productivity both at work and in life.
Managers who take these facts into account achieve high productivity and help colleagues avoid stress. That said, you don’t need to be an expert in psychology; you can turn to modern technology. Try practicing on some apps, use devices, and pass the experience on to others. You might like Calm or Headspace apps.
4. Give up multitasking
Multitasking is a myth. People can’t be efficient by doing multiple processes at once. Neuroscientist and education researcher JoAnn Deak believes that multitasking in most cases doubles the time required to complete a task or increases the number of mistakes made.
People perform much better in consistent mono-tasking. Managers can assign tasks one after the other, prioritizing each one and ordering them so that no stage of completion overlaps with another. You should also learn to separate urgent from important tasks and properly explain the status of each task to employees.
5. Make sure colleagues have time to rest
Breaks during the day and vacations during the year will give people pause to recuperate. Even if your colleagues don’t understand the importance of this step, explain to them that rest is necessary. In case the work process is very stressful and it is difficult for you to let the person go, make a schedule so that you still give them at least a couple of days to recharge.
Pay special attention to those employees who try to be indispensable and be present always and everywhere. Their condition is the most alarming, because it threatens them with irrational behavior and distracted attention.
You should perceive the work process not as a marathon, but as a series of short sprints. After each such run give people a break and recuperate. For example, when it comes to organizing work during the day, try to have 90-minute sessions of intense concentrated work, followed by 10-minute breaks to rest. Instead of worrying about how much time a person spends at their desk, consider how you could help them create an optimal schedule for maximum efficiency.
6. Learn empathy
Empathy, understanding, and compassion don’t cost anything, but they will only benefit you. You can increase employee productivity simply by being kind and empathetic toward them. Studies show that the strongest positive influence on colleagues is the recognition of their achievements, mutual communication and cooperation. A manager’s ability to understand a person, their motivation, their hopes, their challenges, and their ability to support them throughout the work process yields maximum results and payoffs.
What will it get you?
Aetna Insurance conducted an experiment. Twelve thousand of its employees took part in a program that took into account all the previous recommendations. They all showed an increase in productivity, and each saved the company $3,000.
In general terms, a study by the iOpener Institute shows that happy employees are on average 46% longer focused on work tasks and feel 65% more energized.
HR company Towers Watson found that organizations where employees have an experience of interaction, emotional engagement and get energized by work earn twice as much as those companies where employees are emotionally drained.
The well-being of employees affects the entire team, including the manager. Therefore, you need to work on developing the mental and emotional abilities of your subordinates. Developing each member of your team will result in the entire department showing high performance and colleagues learning to interact with each other. You create a healthy and positive environment. And this is the basis of effective work.
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