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Top tips for relieving employee stress

April is 'Stress Awareness Month' and we've got some top tips for alleviating worker stress.

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April is 'Stress Awareness Month', and, as we all know, stress in the workplace is a very real and pervasive issue.

According to the American Institute of Stress, a staggering 80% of workers feel stress while working, and close to half state that they require support with learning how to handle their stress.

In the UK, 79% of workers report experiencing stress, while the Mental Health Foundation reports that 74% of people have felt overwhelmed by or unable to cope with the levels of stress they’ve experienced. Moreover, the UK’s Health Service Executive reported that in 2021 and 2022, 914,000 workers were suffering from work-related stress, depression, or anxiety.

When leading an organisation, the wellbeing of your employees should be a top priority. Not only is it key to ensure that you are fulfilling your legal and ethical duties to your team members, but happy and supported employees are, on average, 12% more productive. In addition to this, employees who feel supported by their managers are 3.4 times more likely to feel engaged, and much more likely to remain with a company, therefore, improving retention rates and building reputation.

How to help your employees with stress

Learn to identify stress

Learning to spot symptoms of stress in your employees, is key to helping them to reduce and manage their stress. Stress can manifest in various ways. From the physical (which can include headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, and illness), to the cognitive – which can include forgetfulness, sluggishness, a dysregulated mood, depleted confidence, and anxiety.

Identifying stress in your employees is the first step to tackling the problem.

Take steps to reduce stress


Communication is one of the first actions you can take, to support any workers who are experiencing stress. Speak with your team members individually and work together to identify causes and stressors. Listening and responding in a non-judgmental manner and ensuring you will provide any necessary supports and referrals will help your staff to feel heard and appreciated.

Managing workload

If workload is causing stress, work with your impacted employee to devise a strategy to help them with their workload going forward – whether this involves moving deadlines, flexible working hours, or redistributing work or responsibility; ensuring that your employee feels their needs are being met, will help to relieve their stress.

Infrastructure changes

Putting infrastructure in place to help manage stress, such as task management tools, timeline trackers, or daily or weekly check-in meetings, can help to create a workable model wherein work is completed without overwhelming the worker.

Ensuring that your team is availing of their break times, i.e. not working through their lunch hour, and taking regular breaks can also help to alleviate stress. This is a good opportunity for you as a business leader to lead by example, and make sure that your workers see you taking appropriate breaks and allowing yourself space to decompress when things get busy.

Providing this example and making sure that your employees have the space and time to feel comfortable following suit, will go a long way towards establishing a healthy workplace culture where employee wellbeing comes first.

Mental health support

If your staff member requires mental health support, you can help them with this via referring them to your company’s HR department. Many employers offer mental health supports in their benefits packages, which is proven to improve employee wellbeing. Forbes notes that the 2023 American Psychological Association (APA) 'Work in America' survey revealed that 92% of workers state it is important to them to work for an organisation providing support for employee mental health.

Committing to managing and alleviating stress levels within your business, is key to fostering a healthy and productive workplace culture. This, in turn, will help to boost your organisation’s reputation, as well as ensuring the longevity and economic viability of your company.

For more information on how to support your team, expand your business, and take on the global business world, contact our team today.