Help employees map their goals. Too often, employees will view their personal career objectives completely separate from their current goals at work. Yet much of what your employees do on a regular basis supports long-term career trajectory and builds valuable skillsets. Employees feel stressed when they are working hard at their job because they don’t feel like it’s doing much for their career. Managers should help employees map out their goals so they can see the connection between personal and work goals, how and when they intersect and why certain goals should remain top priority.
Be transparent. Give employees a way to visualize their future. Not knowing what’s around the corner can be a stressful experience. Be transparent about where your employees fall in the company organizational structure and what they need to do to advance. Offer feedback on projects and tasks to employees understand how to improve. The more transparency you give to employees and what their future could be with your company, the less stressed they should be about the unknown.
Be flexible when it matters. “Workplace flexibility” is in high demand, but the lack of flexibility truly becomes stressful when work clashes with home-life activities in a negative manner. Organizations might vary on how much flexibility employees receive day-to-day, but managers should know when to grant flexibility to individual employees. Don’t be so stringent that employees have a hard time balancing work and life, or don’t have the means to attend to important family matters.
Give employees purpose at work. Employees, especially of younger generations, are in search of jobs that give them meaning and purpose. They want to know how they are contributing to the bigger picture. It’s stressful to be tasked with assignments when it’s unclear how they contribute to the growth or future of the company. Align employees and managers and ensure tasks are not only aligned with big company goals, but that employees understand how their work impacts your company at large.
Tell them why they matter. Before stress even exists, managers should be fostering a workplace where employees know why they matter and are confident in their abilities to perform well. Managers should evaluate goals and progress regularly with employees so there is room for feedback and positive reinforcement. If you truly value your employees, there is no reason they shouldn’t know it!