3 ways to implement stress management training in the workplace
During these current turbulent times, stress management training in the workplace is more important than ever. Employees and managers are both facing stress and anxiety in their personal lives as COVID-19 continues to spread, while job demands become more taxing from the economic disruption caused by the pandemic.
For some, the pandemic can be affecting their mental health more than others. In turn, this affects their ability to meet their job requirements or eventually leads to stress burnout.
A survey done in March by employee engagement and survey experts, Inpulse, found that 28% of 120 people polled felt anxious, 22% felt distracted and 11% were stressed.
Matt Stephens, CEO of Inpulse, said: “We have never seen these levels of anxiety and stress in ‘normal’ times, it is unprecedented and shows the impact Covid-19 has had on employees’ wellbeing. We typically see high levels of commitment and enthusiasm around employee jobs and their organisations.
“Sadly, people are now consumed by the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic – and it’s massively impacting their work. This is a catastrophic shift in the emotional landscape of the workplace, and it’s only happened in a matter of days.”
So how can managers and leaders help their employees avoid stress burnout and reduce anxiety to cope with these difficult times?
Here are some ways to get the ball rolling on stress management training:
The first step for managers to assess the level of stress and anxiety that employees are facing is to send out an anonymous survey.
According to The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a UK government agency responsible for the encouragement, regulation, and enforcement of workplace health, safety, and welfare of employees, the HSE Management Standards approach is recommended for “using a survey as one (but not the only) useful source of information on whether work-related stress appears to be a potential problem for your workforce and, if so, who is likely to be affected and how.”
“Individual perceptions play an important role in predicting stress-related ill health. Gathering the opinions of employees can be a useful indicator of the health of your organisation, and potential sources of work-related stress.”
HSE also offers a survey tool, called the HSE Management Standards Indicator Tool (PDF)– Portable Document Format that can be distributed to all employees, consisting of 35 items that ask about ‘working conditions’ known to be potential causes of work-related stress.
If you want to use your own surveys, HSE suggests assessing whether your survey covers all the relevant areas that are potential causes of stress for your workforce.
Once you have the findings, you can determine how the level and frequency of stress management training your staff and employees need.
Stress management webinars
There are several free stress management webinars for your employees to learn strategies on dealing with their stress and anxiety in the workplace.
Coming up on August 6 is a live webinar by Dr. Remle Crowe and Mike Taigman, who will be discussing drivers of burnout and presenting research-based strategies to reduce stress.
Keep a lookout for webinars such as these and encourage your employees to participate if they are facing increasing stress in the workplace.
Online training programmes
If your employees are currently working at home, they can still attend stress management training sessions such as online courses on Udemy, Coursera, and other online platform providers.
These training programmes are low-cost so if your company is currently on a tight budget, you can still sponsor training for your staff without breaking the bank.
Udemy offers a Stress Management in the Workplace online course for USD$11.99, a short 1.5 on-demand video that gives a full overview of how to manage stress and apply these skills to everyday life.
There’s also a bonus yoga routine to reduce stress and wind down after the workday and 2 Yoga Nidra meditations suitable for all levels.
There’s also the four-week Mindfulness and Resilience to Stress at Work course delivered on EdX by the University of Berkeley, where you can learn research-based strategies to help you foster mindfulness, reduce stress, and guard yourself against burnout.