Are these 5 things creating stress for your employees?
You may not realize it, but your employees may be under undue stress. A lot of employees may not raise their concerns or speak out, so the issue can go undetected for a while.
This can build up over time and stress levels can increase – impacting employee performance, satisfaction, and health. But it’s not just the employee that is impacted.
Impacts of employee stress flow onto business performance and customer experience. The business is also adversely impacted as high stress levels in employees can lead to significant issues with relationships and team dynamics, productivity, engagement, poor performance and it reflects in customer engagement.
The problems for the business are exasperated as employee turnover increases – creating additional costs for the business. Reducing stress there fore is in the best interest of the employer as it helps boost company performance.
So, have you considered if these 5things could be creating undue stress for your employees?
1. Meaningful work doesn’t exist in your business
Making work itself is a large topic and you’ll find a whole lot of information on this website about it. But here, I’m also referring to variety, changing dynamics, as well as the meaningfulness of the work.
Not having variety in a job can be boring – but combining with meaningless or the sense of meaninglessness multiplies the problem- making the work boring, dull, and disengaging.
Lack of both variety and meaning creates a lack of fulfillment and therefore withdrawal starts to happen. This in itself is stressful for the employee – reflecting through low self-esteem, low morale, and low energy levels.
2. Inadequate time to complete a task
Pressure certainly increases stress. Customer related tasks require good project planning as well as scope management. Other stakeholders (e.g. sales, under-skilled project managers, or insensitive managers) can set unrealistic expectations, creating situations where employees are put under undue time pressure to complete tasks.
The burden of completing tasks doesn’t just reflect in poor quality of work, but also creates stress in the workforce. It breaks down relationships where one party has unrealistic demands, another is enforcing these expectations, and the victim party is falling prey to these demands.
3. Lack of training and skills
Employee training naturally leads to an up-skilling of employees. However a lack of it, doesn’t just mean that they or you as a business lose out the skills.
Lack of training (to acquire skills – or lack of skill sets generally) easily lead to insecurity for employees. Coupled with higher chances of unnecessary mistakes, creates a highly stressful environment for employees.
Businesses do a reasonable job in on-boarding employees (even though the experience can be much better). This gets new employees engaged and skilled up when they start work.
However as time goes by employers need to consider both soft and hard skill sets that are needed for their employees to continue to complete their jobs successfully. Changing products, ways of working (operations), technologies, and customer needs always changing, so must the training.
If you can get employees to become and stay confident in their jobs, it continues to multiply performance and positive customer engagement.
4. Multiple roles or conflicting job demands
A lot of employers make the mistake of under stating or over simplifying what the employees job actually entails. Getting a new employee hired and productive quickly can be tempting. But if you are hiring an employee then giving them the work that is best suited to some one else, then this creates a conflicting job demand (and not necessarily a low-skill problem).
Asking a person to do other jobs that don’t fit their skill set, what they were hired for initially, or what they understand of the work, creates a stressful situation for the employee.
Smaller businesses can really suffer from this. Smaller budgets and little resources mean that employees are asked to wear ‘multiple hats’.
However, like some of the other points in the article, some employees will love this dynamic. Wearing multiple hats, and doing a variety of jobs can be a more fulfilling job in it self. However, these people would be the exception and not the rule.
One thing you can do is to make sure that you make the job details as specific as possible at the time of hiring. This also helps create a better employee experience, increasing your chances of retaining good staff.
5. Lack of job security
Lacking security from the job is a major pain point for employees. It’s actually a cause of significant stress for employees. No one likes uncertainty – especially uncertainty in how someone will pay for their day-to-day living expenses.
Employees define their future expectations based on security. People get loans, buy a house, start families, plan holidays, pay for education and training, even start families based on job security. If this security doesn’t exist, then it naturally creates low expectations from the job, leaving low levels of hope, and and uncertain future.
The fear doesn’t have to come from the job itself – but also the economy also. High interest rates – which impacts mortgages and ability to pay mortgages- weighs in on the fear. Other issues impact employees and creates fear also.
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