How to Reduce Employee Anxiety
For some, anxiety comes from a large presentation or an important meeting with a boss. For others, low levels of anxiety may be a constant presence while they do their work.
Either way, anxiety in the workplace is pervasive and needs to be combatted before it becomes harmful to your team.
“CEOs, managers, and supervisors have the power to create environments that reduce, not increase, instances of anxiety caused by work,” Jeff Steen says in Inc.
Steen outlines simple ways to reduce employee anxiety.
Set reasonable expectations
Just because an employee says yes to a task doesn’t mean they have the mental or physical capability to do it.
“Do not assume an employee can handle any/all tasks; stay true to the job for which you hired them and the skills they evince,” Steen recommends.
For some, it’s the unknown that causes the most anxiety, particularly in a time full of unknowns.
“Don’t leave your employees guessing,” Steen says. “Communicate regularly about tasks, expectations, and general work performance.”
Let employees know they are appreciated
Steen explains that telling your team that you appreciate the hard work they are doing can take the edge off, especially in high-stress situations.
Keep your personal life personal
If you start over-sharing about your own personal life because you think it might make your team feel more comfortable, you may be doing the opposite.
“You run the risk of making employees feel uncomfortable and anxious,” Steen explains. “They may even start assuming that they’re expected to share details of their personal lives, too.”
Break up the routine
Let your team know it’s fine to step up away from the computer for a break.
“Little things that allow them to unwind during the workday, endorsed by their higher-ups, let them know they are appreciated and that you understand the value of downtime,” Steen recommends.
Be willing to accept responsibility
If you apologize for mistakes you make, Steen says, you are modeling that behavior for your team.
“The goal is to accept responsibility and learn from those mistakes, and the best way to teach this is by doing it yourself.”