For the deskless workforce in retail, hospitality, logistics and healthcare the festive season is often one full of dread.
Forget glad tidings and Christmas cheer, this is the busiest time of the year with long working hours, increased pressure, super-demanding customers and very little respite. It is a whirlwind of increasing stress for all of us.
It’s, however, natural for businesses of all shapes and sizes to want to capitalize on the Christmas season. Equally, it’s just as important for businesses to safeguard and protect the emotional, physical and mental health of employees.
We’ve seen white-collar workers benefit from the efforts to improve wellness in the workplace. Whether it's a four-day working week or funky break-out spaces for meditation, white-collar workers get a pretty good deal.
But what about the deskless workforce? If you work in retail, hospitality, healthcare or logistics it isn’t so easy to grab 15 minutes during your shift to practice mindfulness, have a Swedish fika or play a quick game of ping pong. That’s why we need to approach the problem differently and help the deskless workforce bust-stress in different ways. Here’s five tips on how you can help your employees decrease their stress levels.
1. Give them flexibility
Your employees want control and choice. Flexibility gives them this. That’s why:
72% of Gen Z and 53% of Millennials say schedule flexibility is more important than health benefits,
72% of Gen Z and 71% of Millennials say flexibility is a right not a benefit
92% of all employees appreciate having flexibility with their schedule
Flexibility means different things to different people. At its heart it’s a way of working where you offer your employees increased choice and control over when and how they work. Some workers crave predictability, some want more working hours and some want less.
With the right tools and technology in place, flexible working can help improve productivity, save time, reduce costs, improve employee retention, reduce employee stress and boost employee happiness.
2. Have better schedules
Good schedules can do many things. They can help reduce labour costs, they can keep customer satisfaction high and they can generate more sales. But can they make your employees happier and less stressed? The answer, is, categorically, yes.
Rarely do shift workers have control of their schedules and, more often than not, they only get on average three days notice of the next week’s schedule. This can have a huge impact on their lives outside of work. It makes it challenging for them to plan their lives, with everything from family commitments to leisure time.
For part time workers, or people working in the gig economy, this also greatly increases the challenge of working multiple jobs and makes it incredibly difficult for them to calculate their income, as their hours can fluctuate wildly. By creating better schedules, you’ll make your staff planning and management much easier.
3. Make things simple and easy
You can help reduce your employees’ stress by making life simple for them. Start by reducing their admin and consolidate your systems. With a workforce management app, your employees can see when they are working, switch shifts, apply for vacation, clock in and out, communicate with colleagues, see what tasks they need to complete on their next shift, answer surveys and be recognized for the work they do. In short, it means they don’t have to think and as such reduces anxiety, stress and worry.
4. Say thank you
A study carried out in the UK found companionship and recognition are more important than high salaries in promoting employee loyalty and making employees feel valued. Being kind to colleagues creates a culture where warm, positive and respectful relationships are highly valued. Simple acts of kindness on a regular basis will benefit you and your team as well as reducing stress.
5. Listen to them and understand them
Emotional intelligence or EQ, is the capacity for empathy, gratitude and intuition. From self-awareness through to being able to listen to others, every office culture should encourage understanding between the people who work there. Employees at all levels of an organisation should feel they are in an environment where they can share their concerns or experiences with confidence and without judgement.
After all, your employees are your heros. They do remarkable things everyday to keep your customers happy and make your business happy. The thing is with heroes, we take them for granted and we never pause to ask them if they are okay. We expect them to keep on going and carry on regardless. It’s easier than ever before to gauge employee feedback, to see what matters to them and to act upon it. It’s part of the reason we developed our new engagement module.
Want to learn more about how better workforce management can benefit your business and your employees? Then download are our trend guide for the industry and see what the future holds.