In 2016, Swiss bank UBS identified 71 cities with the longest average working week per worker. Two Indian cities ‘featured’ in the Top 10 – Mumbai at #2 and Delhi at #4.
Japan’s workaholic culture has spawned the term karoshi (death by overwork) with overworked workers committing suicide out of despair still a common occurrence.
In India, although karoshi incidents are rare, there are still huge costs associated with overworked employees. So if you are a firm’s manager, what can you do to help your employees cope with work stress? How can you ensure that under-pressure employees are not sick employees – or worse – suicidal employees?
Try these 5 strategies:
- Acknowledge your employees’ efforts and don’t be stingy with ‘downtime’
If your employees are pulling all-nighters to meet huge targets or working weekends to help the company meet its goals, tell them you appreciate it. Let them take time off without making them feel guilty or worried that they will be punished for it later. Throw them a party or take them out for a meal. Even ordering some pizzas and giving people half a day off can work wonders with morale.
- Encourage open communication that goes beyond a token ‘open-door policy’
Promote a culture that blends informal check-ins with more formal performance reviews. This can help managers identify stressed employees and design strategies to help. The latter can include setting up a confidential helpline, redesigning their workflow, instituting a ‘wellness’ programme or providing an on-staff psychologist or free therapy.
- Walk the talk: Promote REAL work-life balance!
The term ‘work-life balance’ has become a cliche in corporate parlance. Some companies use it just to promote a rosy image of themselves to clients, potential employees or other stakeholders. But if you truly want your employees to be happy at work, you have to find ways to make work-life balance part of official company policy. Institute strict working hours, discourage employees from working on weekends, encourage them to eat healthy, exercise and pursue hobbies, and allow occasional telecommuting.
- Encourage them to learn and grow
Provide opportunities for upskilling and reskilling can help employees feel better-equipped to cope with the stresses of work task lists. Help them build confidence by identifying their training needs and ensuring that those needs are met. Even coaching and mentoring – inexpensive ways to let them know you care about their progress – can help. Upside for you – more loyal employees!
- Promote a culture of accountability and ‘ownership’
Companies and its employees often work in separate vacuums where the ‘twain never meet’. Communicate your firm’s purpose to them and encourage them to ask questions, provide feedback and offer suggestions. Help them make sense of their KPIs. Encourage them to be accountable for their work (no buck-passing!) so they understand the difference their contribution makes to the company’s goals and aspirations.
How do you support your staff when they’re feeling the pressure? Software can help! To know more about Spine Technologies firm- and employee-friendly solutions, contact us today!