Your employees and teammates are stressed.
I can say that with confidence, because studies show that 80% of workers say they’re stressed about at least one thing at work. And that was before the COVID-19 pandemic swept through and turned our lives upside down, both personally and professionally.
All that stress can hurt not only your employees, but your business. Stressed employees may be less productive, have lower-quality work, and make mistakes. So what should you do about it?
In a recent SHRM article, Dana Wilkie shared some of the top sources of workplace stress and some helpful suggestions on how managers can help ease it. Managers aren’t the only ones who can help reduce stress in the workplace, though – an HR consultant can also make an impact on each of the five top stressors listed in the article.
Understandably, low pay is a major stressor for workers. Money isn’t everything, but if you’re not paying your employees enough, they may leave you for a better-paying position where they don’t have to worry about being able to pay their bills.
An HR consultant can help you determine whether your pay is competitive through compensation benchmarking. For example, Purple Ink has access to real time market pricing information that we provide to clients, and we’ll review the data with those clients to help them make competitive offers.
People want to know that they’re making progress and achieving. Of course, I’m not going to suggest that you blindly promote everyone so they’ll be less stressed – for one thing, putting someone in a position they’re not ready for probably isn’t going to reduce their stress. There are other ways to give your team opportunities for advancement and growth, though.
An HR consultant can lead workshops to support personal and professional growth focused on topics like CliftonStrengths®, creative problem solving, goal setting, and conflict management, to name a few.
You can also help your employees grow and advance by offering the opportunity to work with a coach. Or give them the chance to earn a certification, like Purple Ink’s JoyPowered® Leadership certification.
It’s hard to avoid stress when you’re buried under a mountain of work that never seems to get any smaller. We know from experience that it happens all too often for HR professionals.
An HR consultant can help your HR team keep their workload manageable by taking some of it off their hands. Outsourcing to consultants like my teammates at Purple Ink can take many forms. For example, if your heavy workload is due to a team member being on temporary leave, a consultant can step in and fill that position while they’re gone. You can also outsource a function, like FMLA administration, or a consultant can come in and spearhead a project, like job description development.
Role clarity is crucial. Being expected to complete tasks you’re not qualified for or that should fall under the purview of another team member is stressful, especially if those tasks weren’t discussed in advance. If that’s happening your organization, you might benefit from an HR consultant reviewing (or creating) job descriptions.
Managers may be the source of unrealistic expectations, as well. Training or coaching can help your managers with communication, emotional intelligence, leading meetings, or any other area where they’re struggling.
Technology has benefitted the workplace in a lot of ways. One downside, though, is that it can make it difficult to get out of “work mode.” An HR consultant can help you create policies, procedures, and messaging that will help employees feel more comfortable knowing they’re not expected to read or respond to work communications 24/7.
Long hours may also be a sign of too heavy a workload, which I discussed above. If that’s the case, consider hiring an HR consultant to take on some of that work short-term. If you need a longer-term solution, an HR consultant can help you hire the right fit to share the workload.
If the stress is starting to get to you and your team, reach out to Purple Ink. Whether your stress is caused by one of the factors above or by something else entirely, we’d love to talk with you and find a solution that addresses your organization’s needs.