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Happy employee, no stress.

How to eliminate the biggest source of stress at work

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While the right amount of pressure can help people achieve great things, feeling truly stressed can do the opposite. Feeling chronically overwhelmed to the point where your heart is racing, palms are sweaty, and your stomach starts doing backflips isn’t conducive to delivering good work. Nor is it healthy.

Aside from being a decent human being who wishes their workers well, it is therefore in the interest of your business to reduce the amount of stress employees are experiencing in the workplace. Because when your employees feel calm, collected, and capable at work, everybody wins.

Although different factors may contribute to individual employees’ stress levels, an ongoing survey reveals there’s one thing you can do that’s likely to make a huge difference. Conducted by career site Comparably, the ongoing survey of over 10,000 people asks people about their biggest stressor at work.

The answer? Unclear goals.

Given a choice between commute, too long hours, unclear goals, difficult co-worker, or bad manager, 40% of respondents indicate it’s vague goals that stress them out the most. Too long hours finishes last, with only 13% picking it as their biggest stressor.

Whether you’re a business owner, HR professional, or a manager, it’s worth considering if a lack of goal setting, or a lack of communication about goals could be causing tension in your organisation.

If you do have goals in place, ask yourself whether it’s clear to individual employees how they can achieve their goals and how they contribute to the company’s success. For those who enjoy using checklists, you could ensure your goals follow the SMART framework by making them specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound

In addition to reducing stress among your employees, being clear about goals at every level – from company goals to individual targets – will definitely up your chances of actually achieving them. Win-win.

ALSO READ: Case study: How Dow Chemical helped staff reduce stress by 7%

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