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Avoid the high cost of workplace stress or your business will suffer

by , 14 November 2013
The World Health Organisation estimates that stress costs American business about $300 million a year. And stress related illnesses are often the primary cause for long-term illness among staff - which also means a decline in productivity for the business, and in turn, negative impact to the bottom line. Here's how you can make sure your business doesn't suffer

So the question is, what are you doing to help your employees manage stress? What are you doing to prevent the effects of stress?
According to the experts at the Health and Safety Advisor, there's plenty you can do to stop stress from eating up your employees.
And it starts, with a keen awareness of the signs of stress.
Can you spot these nine signs of stress in your employees?
1.       Anxiety, irritability and anger
2.       Dizziness, palpitations
3.       Muscle disorders (e.g. spasms, tension)
4.       Insomnia
5.       Fatigue
6.       Impaired memory and concentration
7.       Excessive smoking or drinking
8.       Recurrent infections or vague aches and pains
9.       Feeling down, or a loss of control.
Now that you know what to look for, here's how you can reduce employee stress levels
By detecting stress early, you can take steps to prevent stress for your employees.  Here are some examples:
*Establish a social sports league for employees, where they can relax and have fun
* Hire a life-coach who will help employees learn to manage their time better, so they feel they can get more done in each day.
* Teach employees about the value of a healthy diet, good sleep and regular exercise.
* Help employees reduce the number of distractions and interruptions daily. For example, you know the finance team is always under pressure at month-end, and at the financial year-end. So during those periods, don't send them out for training, and don't ask them to sit in on meetings that aren't crucial. Rather, try to free up their time, so they can focus on their immediate tasks and not feel overwhelmed.
* As part of the employee perks, have a mobile massage team or aromatherapist visit the office once a week, to give staff a treat.
* Make sure your employees can achieve a healthy work-life balance, so they don't feel over-worked and over-whelmed. You can do this by allowing them flexible working hours, for example.
Focus on reducing your employees' stress levels, and you'll see their productivity go up!

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