10 Reasons Your Team Is Stressed And How To Respond

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If you get the sense your team is stressed, chances are you’re right. There is a bevy of reasons workers are stressed these days, from a lack of work-life balance to general job uncertainty. A stressed-out team is something you’ll want to nip in the bud; experts say: stressed employees aren’t as productive, creative, collaborative, and proactive as they could be.  So, here are 10 reasons your team might be stressed—with expert tips for what you should do.

1. They can’t handle a too-heavy workload. 

According to a survey by the American Institute of Stress, about one in five workers have quit a previous job because of stress—and almost half of them say a heavy workload was the culprit. “Long hours and an onslaught of emails and projects can make for exhausted and stressed-out employees,” says executive career coach Elizabeth Pearson, who adds that leaders can mitigate potential burnout by “clearly prioritizing the workload they assign to their team members.” An open-door policy—one that encourages employees to come to you when they are overwhelmed by their workload, rather than quietly suffer—can also help reduce stress and set better priorities.

2. There aren’t clear goals. 

“When you have a job to do, the biggest key to being successful has a clear goal,” career coach Michele Mavi says. Without clear goals, your team will be stressed: After all, they won’t know what they’re working toward, or if they’ve met your expectations. “Employees know they are going to be judged on the quality of their work, and when leaders can’t clearly communicate the goal in specific terms or change their benchmarks often because they aren’t clear on what is needed, it creates a lot of stress and confusion,” Mavi explains. “Leaders need to make sure they have communicated desired outcomes and timelines with teams, and if they’re not able to do that, acknowledge that things aren’t clear.” Doing so lets your team know exactly where they need to be and where they are headed—and that their leader is on the same page, Mavi says.10 Reasons Your Team Is Stressed And How To Respond

3. You’re not transparent. 

When leaders omit or withhold important information from employees, it can stress out teams—especially during challenging times, such as budget cuts or company transformations, says career mentor Michelle Enjoli. “It will cause employees to distrust the organization or leader and create assumptions based on inaccurate information,” Enjoli says. To increase transparency and reduce stress, Enjoli recommends committing to regularly updating your teams. “An important part of this communication is to include an opportunity for team members to ask questions and get an honest response,” she says. “If the leader is unable to respond, they should be clear on whether they don’t know and can inquire, or simply cannot provide a comment at that time.”

4. They feel a lack of work-life balance.   

With technology at our fingertips and in our pockets—hello, smartphones—it’s tougher to set clear boundaries between work and home. And with work often invading their personal lives, employees are feeling more stressed. Pearson says that “less personal time to spend on self-care can lead to increased anxiety, unhappiness, and mental health deterioration,” and recommends that leaders offset teams’ stress “by encouraging them to ‘clock-out’ and not respond to emails, texts, or calls before or after certain times of the day.” Leaders can also mandate or encourage employees to take t allotted paid time off throughout the year, and lead by example—taking time off themselves and communicate how they unplug when they’re home or on vacation, she says.

5. You don’t trust your employees. 

“A threat to autonomy is a big trigger in the workplace for both individuals and teams,” explains Mavi. “When leaders ask for constant updates and need to be informed of every step of the way, it creates a sense that the team isn’t trusted to do what is needed.” You may trust your team, but if you micromanage them or demand constant updates, your trust isn’t coming across. Try to take a step back and let your team do their job. You may see them less stressed and more productive. Continue reading here…

Via: Glassdoor Blog

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