Defusing stress

What are examples of adjustments a company can make?

Communication and building trust is key. For example, effective communication during a company reorganization needs to begin early and take place often. It is important to explain the role the employee is going to play in the reorganization, walk them through the new workflow and explain what’s required for the reorganization. A sense of shared responsibility should be communicated. Send the message that everyone in the organization is adjusting and going through the same change together, so the employees understand they are not going through the changes by themselves.

How does empathy and understanding come into play?

When empathy and understanding is displayed, it strengthens the team, and oftentimes it increases productivity, morale and loyalty. It is necessary to talk openly about the kinds of job stresses employees may experience, and equip them with the tools to be able to effectively deal with those stresses as they arise. Encourage employees to feel they are personally part of the solution to the challenges the company is going through, and that what they have to say matters.

Further, always be exploring ways to motivate your staff with awards and recognition programs, and creating ways for employees to express what makes them feel accomplished or energized during time at the office. In these ways, empathy can make the difference between success and failure of your business by ensuring employees remain engaged in positive activities.

Does this require creative levels of communication and reassurance, and what is the message?

Effective communication is going to be essential at all levels within the organization to ensure the work environment is a healthy environment. And it’s important for that communication to be timely as well as appropriate. For example, you have to communicate effectively and in a timely manner why pay raises, company sponsored events or other annual events are not possible without diminishing appreciation for the employees’ contributions.

Reassurances to employees that everyone is observing the appropriate actions can make a difference in the workplace, for example, being good stewards, taking responsibility, supporting the work they do on behalf of their customer and sharing the company’s values.

Julie Sanon is the senior vice president and innovation officer for Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance. Reach her at (813) 740-4680 or [email protected].