Job pressures is still a major source of stress for most people in the world. As traditional work conditions and arrangements require employees to spend at least 8 hours a day at the workplace, it is extremely important that managers create an inclusive and encouraging work environment where staff feel safe and enjoy going to, so to help decrease general levels of stress.
Creating such an environment may not be easy, but increased productivity and work satisfaction are only some of the benefits that come from investing time and resources into inclusive policies and programs, as well as stress-releasing activities.
Shelby Skeabeck, attorney with a labour and employment law firm, says companies need to have “equal employment opportunity policies, prohibiting discrimination and harassment, and open door policies.” She adds that simply having policies in place isn’t enough; “reminding employees that they will not be subject to retaliation for voicing concerns can go a long way in easing the mind of employees about reporting issues arising under such policies,” she concludes.
Inclusive policies must be created very carefully, and the way you define diversity is extremely important. Include minorities in every step of the process, and make sure the focus is always on the whole team, or “all of us”, and do not treat minorities as groups of outsiders.
Making sure workers are comfortable reporting and discussing issues is a great step, but going the extra mile and hosting stress-releasing activities such as early morning yoga, monthly lunches with the entire team, guided meditation sessions, or even kickboxing or dance classes will do wonders to help keep employees sane, relaxed, and happy. It’s also important to make these sessions and classes optional, so workers don’t feel like they are obligated to attend – which may backfire and cause even more stress!
Remember to always keep a positive and open environment that is encouraging and safe for everyone. Recognise everyone’s individual rights, and in no time it will not only be a good thing for businesses to do, but it will also be great for business.