Let’s talk about stress. When there’s too much on a person’s plate, not enough time, or too much pressure, we feel stressed. It’s a familiar experience for most working adults, but feeling stressed all the time is nothing to ignore. Stress can cause low energy, insomnia, reduced immune function, anxiety, and countless more frightening effects on the body. For a trucking company like BYX, putting an overworked, stressed-out employee behind the wheel is actually dangerous!
Stress in the workplace has serious side effects, including low company morale and employees who are unmotivated and burnt out. By addressing the root causes of workplace stress, business owners and managers can build a healthier, happier, more productive work environment. Keep reading to explore what might be stressing out your staff, and learn how to fix it.
1. Poor Job-Person Fit
Everyone has particular skills that they’re great at, and others that aren’t really their forte. As a trucking company, we’ve learned this firsthand; not everyone is suited to spend 40 hours a week on the road! When employees are assigned to do jobs that are totally mismatched with their personality or experience level, those jobs become stressful. Why have an introvert field phone calls and man the front desk when someone outgoing and talkative would be a better fit? When you have an open position, try to hire someone who’s a natural fit. The rest of the time, get to know your staff members and their strengths. If possible, reassign them to jobs that minimize their weaknesses and let them do what they do best.
2. Insufficient Training Procedures
Another common source of workplace stress is inadequate training. Imagine someone expecting you to do something that you’ve never been taught how to do. If you don’t do it right, people might be upset with you. That sounds pretty stressful! As a business owner, making sure that employees are fully equipped to handle the tasks on their plate can substantially reduce workplace frustration and stress. To lower employee anxiety even more, encourage staff to ask questions.
3. Pushing Staff to be Always Busy
Being productive and being busy aren’t the same things. Constantly rushing around and trying to take on multiple tasks at once gives the illusion of being productive, but it usually just leads to burn out. Expect your staff to focus on one task at a time. Quality over quantity. That way, each task will be done well, minus mental fatigue and employee stress.
4. As a Trucking Company, We Prioritize Job Safety and Security. So Should You.
As a trucking company, we know a thing or two about job safety. Long drives and heavy lifting cause wear and tear on the body, and many other jobs come with safety risks as well. If company policies don’t include good medical insurance and time to recover if injured, stress is inevitable. Make sure your team members have no reason to worry about losing their job or affording medical treatment if they’re injured, and one major cause of workplace stress is erased.
5. Poor Communication
It’s normal to fear the unknown. If people don’t know what’s coming next, how can they prepare? Leaders who talk openly about what’s going on with the company and how it impacts the team have better results than those who keep staff in the dark. Give workers a sense of control by keeping them informed. If they know what’s happening, they have the power to influence it!
6. No Flexibility
Speaking of control, ruling with an iron fist might backfire. Studies show that being more aggressive and controlling with your team raises stress levels and lowers productivity. As it turns out, when people cope with stress better when they have control over the source. This one’s an easy fix; just listen to your team! If you’re open to reasonable requests, like working from home on certain days or occasionally coming in later to make it to a special family function, your team will thank you.
The Bottom Line: Create A Workplace of Kindness
At the end of the day, reducing workplace stress is about treating employees with care, consideration, and respect. Treat your people like people, not cogs in a machine. When your team knows you have their back, they’ll have yours too!