Employees may not realise it, but stress is a leading contributor to many health problems. Lowering stress can reduce the risk of severe medical concerns, such as depression, anxiety, heart disease and gastrointestinal problems. Not to mention, reducing stress levels can help individuals feel happier, more focused and more productive on at work.
As an employer, you can play an important role in decreasing employee stress. Consider the following guidance.
Activities and Programmes
- Monthly chair massage— On-site professional massages allow employees to reduce their stress without even leaving work. These can be offered in 10- or 15-minute blocks, allowing employees to return to their jobs refreshed and renewed.
- Exercise class— Exercise is a great way to relieve and even prevent stress. Offer a variety of class times (before and after work, during lunch, etc.) as well as various types of classes – from relaxing yoga to stress-busting kickboxing.
- Stress management class— Provide employees with the education and tools to manage time and tasks, to cope with daily stressors and to prevent stress from damaging their health.
- Comedy day— You can’t worry and laugh at the same time! Bring in a stand-up comedian, show old black-and-white comedies and/or hold a contest for funniest home videos and funniest jokes.
- Meditation room— Provide a designated space where employees can sit quietly and use meditation or prayer to defuse their stress.
- Recognition—Celebrating workplace successes can raise employees’ morale and allow them to put their challenges in perspective. Make sure to recognise employees who have completed important projects, taken on a new challenge or had notable accomplishments.
- Stress-relieving squeeze balls—These are popular toys for releasing tension and can serve as inexpensive prizes for contest winners or activity participants.
- Give away a free massage— Local massage professionals may want to contribute a free massage as part of an incentive or prize because it allows them to advertise their services.
- Spa day— This may involve a facial, massage, hair and nails or other combination of beauty and well-being offerings. A day at the spa is a relaxing way to rejuvenate your spirit and appearance. Ask local spas to contribute a coupon or discount.
- Paid holiday— This surprisingly inexpensive option can give hard-working employees a free day to just relax or take care of responsibilities at home or appointments that have been put off.
- Gym membership—Persuade your employees to participate in programmes and activities by offering a free or discounted gym membership. Regular exercise will reduce stress levels, and helping with the cost will encourage many employees to utilise this benefit.
- Audio book on breathing exercises— Voice-guided practise in breathing exercises allows employees to relax, slow their heart rate, rid their minds of stressors and learn a simple technique to manage stress that will last them a lifetime.