Welcome back to the Eagle Mat Blog’s two-part article series on stress prevention programs. If you have not done so already, please read Part I: Forming a Plan for Your Business. This introductory article explains why stress prevention programs are becoming more important for businesses. It also lists a few benefits of workplace stress prevention programs that may help your organization chart specific goals for these programs. After reading Part I, you will be ready to follow the steps below to create an actionable stress management plan for your organization.
Creating a Stress Prevention Program
1. Openly discuss the need for the program. As mentioned above, the development and implementation of a full-scale stress prevention program requires the participation of many different individuals at different levels of the organization. To begin, openly discuss the need for the program, its goals, and what is expected of each employee in terms of participation. This can be done through email, a newsletter, or a general office communication. Remember to focus on the benefits that the program aims to deliver to employees.
2. Conduct a workplace audit. Next, create a workplace audit by collecting information on production areas, assembly methods, work teams, and all other data that is vital in explaining the manner and scope with which work is completed.
3. Brainstorm. Next, poll managers and employees to get an idea of the most common stressors encountered during the workplace audit. Prioritize this list, noting each item that causes high levels of stress. Specifics are important here, so be sure to note the origin and nature of the stress with as much detail as possible. This will make it easier to create solutions to overcome the stressors.
4. Develop solutions. Finally, develop solutions to combat the most prevalent stressors in the workplace. Address the high priority items first, as noted in step 3 above. This process should be similar to the brainstorming step above, and all members of the organization should be encouraged to participate. Today, technology can lend a helping hand by offering an easy way for many different individuals to comment on this process. Your company may start a blog, for example, and produce a short article snippet on each of the high priority items. Each item can be categorized by category or “tag,” and employees may use a comments thread to share ideas.
Combating Workplace Stress with Safety Products
Commercial floor mats and other safety products provide additional workplace safety, and such products should not be overlooked. While it is important to develop a program to protect the mental and emotional wellness of employees, it is also important to safeguard against physical injury. Anti-fatigue mats, for example, are a particularly useful solution for organizations in which employees spend a lot of time on their feet. Other products like crowd control, signage, and traction devices are likewise important in upholding long-term employee safety.
Here’s a closer look at the products that may help your organization achieve the goals of your new workplace stress prevention program:
1. Anti-Fatigue Mats: The best way to help employees manage a stressful workplace is to modify their environment so it is more comfortable. Anti-fatigue mats accomplish this by providing a “squishy” floor surface that reduces pain and soreness that typically comes with standing for long hours. These mats are a favorite among service representatives, manufacturers, and any other employee who spends a majority of time on their feet.
2. Antimicrobial Mats: Use antimicrobial mats in food preparation areas, restroom facilities, and in entryways to control the spread of bacteria. Controlling bacteria is important for health reasons, but it is important to be transparent in your attempts to do so. This will let employees know that their health and safety is a top priority.
3. Crowd Control & Signage: After conducting a Workplace Audit (see step 3 under Creating a Stress Prevention Program section above), you will undoubtedly notice that a great deal of stress comes from customer services. Using crowd control systems and signage will help to organize customers into lines / queues that are more easily serviced with less stress.