For good reasons, there is growing concern about how employee stress affects both job performance and quality of life. This concern has bled into the professional services industries, where employers are waking up to the need to prioritize stress management for employees.
Professional service workers face numerous challenges. The majority of them work in high-stress, mentally taxing environments. For instance, lawyers may find court appearances stressful, while advertising professionals worry incessantly about their performance metrics. Engineers with large construction projects constantly deal with thousands of workers and strict deadlines.
A study by Dynamic Signal found out that 63% of US workers are ready to quit their jobs due to stress. In fact, 46% of HR leaders say employee burnout is responsible for up to 50% of their annual workforce turnover, as reported in a study by Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace. The effects of stress in the workplace are very real, thus it’s imperative for employers to take a proactive approach in employees’ wellness. Read on to find out more on how employers can help employees in the professional services manage stress and avoid burnout.
How Stressed Are Professional Services Employees?
Working in professional services can be difficult. Long hours, high-pressure environments, and demands for public safety and security are all factors that cause workplace stress. Professionals in the professional services sector are more susceptible to stress than average workers due to the competitive nature of their work. As a result, they are stressed out more than regular employees.
According to a survey, 67% of engineers said they went to work despite feeling emotionally or mentally ill, and 42% said that their poor mental health or emotional well-being had an impact on their work. Engineers are not alone. A recent study by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs found that 21% of licensed attorneys are problem drinkers, 28% are depressed, and 19% are anxious. Firms need to take stress management for employees very seriously if they want to make sure that their employees are in the best condition.
Consultants, on the other hand, workweeks of 50/60 hours. Those who are working in the manufacturing industry are very prone to high stress levels. The physical demand, work patterns with schedules, shift work, and job insecurity regarding future employment are all sources of stress in this industry.
According to a report from Mental Health America, 93% of health care workers were stressed, 86% were anxious, 77% were frustrated, 76% were exhausted and burned out, and 75% were overwhelmed. Those in the advertising industry are also not spared from workplace stress, and this is especially true in marketing agencies. According to a Paycheck survey, 69.6% of marketers are suffering from workplace burnout.
The Impact of Stress And Burnout On Professional Service Employees
Workplace stress not only has an impact on employees; it also has a negative impact on company performance. Workers’ physical health can be impacted by job-related stress. Professional workers’ mental health suffers as well, increasing their risk of anxiety, burnout, depression, and substance use disorders. All of these harms translate to a diminished work product. That is why employers need to think of effective stress management for employees.
The stress from professional services jobs often contributes to the development of risky and unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, and poor eating habits. Stress reduces employee productivity, increases absenteeism, and results in more visits to the doctor. Unproductive, absent, and sick workers also increase employer healthcare costs. Studies show that workplace stress has been linked to increased rates of injury and turnover, both of which increase administrative costs. This is why having solid programs on stress management for employees will not just alleviate working conditions but will also boost company performance.
Professional Services Stress Management Tips For Avoiding Burnout
Workplace stress in the professional services industry can be managed, and the first step toward addressing it is identifying potential sources of stress for employees in an organization. The next step would be to look for ways to reduce workplace stress. But how can employers reduce stress in the workplace? Here are some stress management tips for avoiding burnout.
Encourage Open Communication
To avoid role ambiguity and conflict, employers should encourage more organizational communication. Open communication is key to stress management for employees. Remember that effective communication can influence employee attitudes. Managers can use better signs and context to prevent employee misinterpretation, and they can encourage employee involvement in decision-making.
A successful company requires open communication and trust. Leaders should regularly discuss personal and professional goals with employees. Problems must be resolved quickly for everyone to move forward. It is important to remember that open-door workplaces have lower levels of stress and a company culture built on loyalty and mutual respect.
Promote Independence, Allow Flexible Hours and Remote Working Set-up
You hire employees because you believe they will do a good job. It’s always a good idea to give them a chance to prove themselves. The workplace should be a place of accomplishment rather than confinement. Make it clear to employees that quality and ethics take precedence over timekeeping. Allow employees to choose between flexible start and end times and remote work. This policy communicates to employees that you do not want to micromanage them.
Having their own schedule will provide employees with a sense of independence. Remember that independence is the first step toward empowerment. Workplace empowerment is frequently undervalued. It boosts self-esteem, adaptability, and development. Allowing employees to make decisions based on their own judgment demonstrates to them that you trust their decision. You also allow them to be more creative than they would have been otherwise.
Launch Incentives and Recognition Initiatives
Employees appreciate being recognized for their efforts. However, when deciding how and when to recognize, keep the employee’s personality in mind. Some employees value a meeting invitation or a company-wide email, whereas others prefer a handwritten card or a personal thank you. Some people might also enjoy incentives such as gift cards or store vouchers.
However, whenever possible, execute employee recognition in public so that everyone can join in the celebration. Your employees will appreciate the fact that you are aware of their achievements and wish to share them with others. This makes them happier and more relaxed, which reduces stress. In stress management for employees, rewarding them for a job well done is a very good idea. Remember, putting people first can do wonders.
Establish Employee Wellness Programs
Workplace wellness programs that promote healthy living and mental health significantly reduce workplace stress. Employees can be encouraged to take a walk during their lunch break, provided with free counseling or therapists, and offered healthy snacks. They will feel valued if they believe their health is being protected.
Employees will feel rejuvenated as a result of wellness activities and programs. Physically fit employees benefit both their coworkers and their employers. However, keep in mind that employee wellness programs must consider both the body and the mind. Guided support programs can give employees the confidence they need to perform at their best. Programs for stress management for employees boost both employer and employee satisfaction. Remember, putting people first can do wonders.
Building Resilience In The Professional Services Industry
Stress management for employees will assist you in not only developing a resilient workforce, but also in cultivating a culture of wellbeing and showing your employees that you care.
Contact Aduro today and explore our holistic employee well-being solutions.