The fact that workplace stress in New Zealand is at an all-time high will probably come as no surprise to anyone who has a job. The economy here has been tumultuous, as it has been across much of the globe. Employers expect employees to work harder and longer and deliver results. And employees know if they don’t deliver, there are plenty of people queuing at the local unemployment office ready to step in.
Ramifications of Stress in the Workplace
As a boss, owner, or manager, why should you care about your employees’ stress levels? One key reason is that stressed out employees can jeopardise workplace safety. When they are distracted, individuals make more mistakes. Depending on what type of business you have, lapses in workplace safety can lead to serious physical injuries or even deaths.
Health and safety consultants have plenty of stories of anxious, overworked, stressed out employees making careless mistakes that have devastating consequences. Additionally, stress that causes workplace safety problems can lead to legal issues, as New Zealand has strict workplace safety legislation to protect workers. And, that’s not to mention the drop in productivity when workers are stressed out.
How Can Employers Help?
The World Health Organisation actually studied this very question. Whilst the best way to alleviate stress is to guarantee employees that their jobs are 100 % secure and they have nothing to worry about, that’s simply not feasible for most companies; nothing in life is certain. Employers can be more empathetic, work to improve workplace conditions and communicate better. They also can strive to:
- Assign workloads that are reasonable
- Reward and praise employees for jobs well done
- Have a sense of humour so employees know it is okay to be lighthearted
- Be positive (positivity is contagious)
- Make sure employees know exactly what’s expected
- Prioritise employees’ responsibilities so they know how to manage their time
- Make sure employees know they are valued team members
- Allow and encourage employees to take short regular breaks through the day
- Listen (really listen) to employee concerns and take action when warranted
Employees are an employer’s number one asset. Without them, you wouldn’t have a business! Treat employees like you’d like to be treated in their position. Respect and kindness will not eliminate workplace stress altogether, but greatly reduce it.
Health and Safety Consultants are Stress-Reduction Specialists
Complying with New Zealand workplace safety laws (and providing stress-relief solutions that aren’t mandated but are beneficial to employees and a business) can seem like a job in itself. Do yourself a favour and outsource this important job to a company that specialises in business health and safety in Auckland. In other words, contact us at Worksafe Services. We will evaluate your workplace, make sure you’re in compliance with government requirements and implement solutions that will benefit all employees.