April Is Stress Awareness Month

In order to bring greater attention to and awareness of the issue, the month of April has been named “Stress Awareness Month.”  It’s no secret that our busy lives are increasingly stressful with a staggering 79% of Americans reporting feeling stress sometimes of frequently during the course of a typical day (per Gallup).

The percentage is enormous and the health impacts are real, and if you own a business of any size, your stressed out workforce is probably costing you money by increasing the number of sick days your employees take and decreasing morale, which in turn, leads to a hit in productivity.

The good news is that there are real, practical things you as a manager or business owner can do to help reduce the stress levels of your employees.  Here are a few to get your mind turning on the subject:

Encourage Walk Breaks

Did you know that spending just fifteen minutes a day walking around in a natural setting can reduce the cortisol levels (the hormone that causes stress) in your body by up to fifty percent?  It’s true!  But even if you don’t have a park near your office, just being outside, even in an urban setting, provides approximately half the benefit, so if you’re not already encouraging periodic walking breaks, today is the day to start.

Encourage The Use of Relaxation Apps

There are literally dozens of apps available for both Android and iPhone devices that were designed specifically to help foster relaxation.  If your employees are showing signs of stress and aren’t yet taking advantage of apps like these, definitely encourage them to do so.  While not as impactful as spending time outside, they are nonetheless effective and when used in conjunction with some time outdoors every day, can dramatically reduce overall stress levels.

Better Communication

It’s entirely possible that there’s something structural going on at your place of business that’s causing or contributing to the stress levels of some, or even all of your employees.  This kind of issue is perhaps the easiest to remedy because it involves little more than asking your employees if there are any structural changes you can make around the office that would help them in the stress department, then enact as many of their suggestions as it is feasible to.

Even in the unlikely event that you’re not able to address any of their concerns, the fact that you know what they are will make you more mindful of them, and you’ll automatically be on the lookout for ways you can improve their work environment.

Leverage Your Recognition Program

If you’ve already got an Award and Recognition program in place, you can easily leverage it to become part of an overall de-stress solution in your office.  We’ve got a vast product line that includes a number of different styles of stress relievers that offer a proven, low-cost method to reduce stress in the workplace.  Browse our collection today!

The bottom line is that your employees are quite likely to be more stressed out than you realize, but there are simple things you can do, starting today, to fix that problem.  That’s good for you, and it’s good for them.  Everybody wins.