What Should Managers Do When It Comes To Stress Reduction?

best wireless keyboards for mac

16 December 2023


I know all too well that stress is an unavoidable part of life, particularly in the daily lives of managers. But the good news is, research has repeatedly proven that effectively managing stress can help maintain team morale and productivity – plus, it’s key to protecting both employees’ well-being and their company’s.

So, if you’re looking to take control of your stress levels or be a role model for ideal management skills among your staff, read on! The American Psychological Association estimates approximately ⅓ of United States organizations are losing over $300 billion each year due to stressful environments- so we must open this critical conversation now! Here, I will share tips grounded in proactivity rather than reactivity so you can make meaningful organizational changes today!

Key Takeaways

  • To keep teams productive and morale high, managers must manage their stress levels proactively and set examples for employees by encouraging healthy habits.
  • Managers should observe the signs of stress in themselves or their colleagues, such as increased absenteeism, irritability, impatience, and aggression towards others.
  • Proactive measures like identifying triggers early on, embracing continuous learning opportunities, setting workload boundaries, and promoting self-care strategies can help reduce stress.
  • Incorporating proactive strategies into daily routines like learning ways to address potential triggers, providing mental health education programs, or investing time in upskilling is essential for managing workplace pressure successfully.
  • Creating an environment that nurtures collaboration, respect, and wellness with positive actions helps develop a shared understanding of workflow objectives while reducing misunderstandings due to unclear communication or misinterpreted directions, leading to overall improved morale and ensuring the long-term success of any organization today.

Understanding Managerial Stress

manager stress

Being a successful manager often requires juggling multiple responsibilities and expectations under tight deadlines, all while motivating team members and striving to meet stakeholders’ goals.

Therefore, managers must recognize the pressures of the role and identify potential stressors early on.

Stress Management - Part 2 | Joyce Meyer | Enjoying Everyday Life

Stress affects every single area of your life, including your mental, emotional and physical health.

The unique pressures of leadership roles

Leadership roles can come with unique pressures and responsibilities. High levels of accountability, decision-making, problem-solving, and motivating staff are all elements that require the navigational skills of a leader.

Managers must be competent in handling different types of stress to maintain an optimal level of performance for themselves and those they serve. Influential leaders need to proactively manage their stress while being aware of how their actions affect other team or organization members.

In addition to this managerial role, leaders are also responsible as spokespersons for mental health issues within their teams by setting examples of healthy habits and encouraging team resources to manage stress together.

Recognizing the signs of stress in managers

As any leader will attest, managing a team of people can be a source of significant stress. But how do you recognize the signs in yourself and others? Managing stress at work requires an awareness of inclinations towards risk-taking behaviors, emotional outbursts, or diminishing performance statistics.

Leaders should pay attention to changes in behavior that often appear before physical symptoms, such as increased absenteeism, irritability, impatience, aggression toward colleagues, or lack of creativity.

Managers must observe the signs through regular check-ins with employees and team bonding activities to ensure everyone is on track and feels supported. By developing high levels of engagement early on, these indications can be addressed more quickly than if action was not taken before they affect morale or productivity by leaving them unresolved.

Proactive Stress Management Strategies

A woman practicing yoga in a peaceful, natural setting.

Incorporating proactive strategies into daily routines can help to reduce and manage stress more effectively. From learning ways to identify and mitigate triggers, setting boundaries, encouraging team resources, or upskilling – implementing these changes may require commitment but could yield positive results over time.

Stress Management Strategies: Ways to Unwind

Wellcasters relax! Too much stress in your life causes headaches, high blood pressure, tummy aches, memory loss and all other kinds of nasty stuff.

Identifying and managing stress triggers

Stress management begins with identifying workplace stress sources and developing an action plan to address them. Managers should stay aware of potential triggers, either in themselves or among their colleagues, such as a demanding workload, competing priorities, ambiguous expectations, a toxic culture, or inadequate resources. It can also help if leaders are mindful of how their behavior affects those around them and take responsibility for creating a positive work environment.

Embracing continuous learning and upskilling

Continuous learning helps managers evolve in their management techniques, keeping up with the industry standards and managing conflicts or challenging situations. This proactive approach enables them to cope with stressors and cultivates an environment of positivity, inspiration, and growth opportunities for self-development.

As a manager facing stress at work, investing time in continuous education is vital for personal development. By staying abreast on the latest innovative strategies and techniques that can help manage difficult circumstances efficiently – such as problem-solving skills, effective communication tactics, or decision-making strategies – managers can build confidence in their abilities nurtured by valuable knowledge acquirement, thus improving job satisfaction and consequently mitigating feelings of anxiety and tension resulting from inadequate workloads or mental exhaustion caused by external demands.

Additionally, this forms a basis of trust within employees’ interactions, allowing strong bonds between team members formed by mutual respect while achieving common objectives. Finally, it also serves as an essential step forward in successfully resolving issues, which will considerably contribute towards diminishing organizational struggles, further promoting morale among staff members, and positively maintaining healthier working climates throughout businesses.

Setting realistic boundaries and expectations

Setting realistic boundaries and expectations is integral to good stress management for managers. By clarifying their availability and mapping out how much work they can reasonably complete in a given period, they can ensure that high workloads don’t lead to higher stress levels.

Constructive feedback should be consistently provided on successes and improvement areas; this helps employees understand what’s expected from them, which also reduces tension and potential sources of conflict arising between manager-employee relations.

For example, scheduling regular performance reviews enables constructive dialogue regarding both successes and areas for growth. This helps shape shared understanding about workflow objectives while reducing misunderstandings due to unclear communication or misinterpreted directions.

Cultivating a Supportive Work Environment

Creating an environment that nurtures collaboration, respect, and wellness reduces manager stress. Leaders must prioritize healthy practices such as encouraging effective dialogue and resolving conflict productively.

Creating a Healthy Work Environment

Creating a happy AND productive workplace where employees show up and do their best work should be at the top of every leaders agenda.

Leading by example with healthy habits

As a manager, setting an example for your team is vital to improving workplace stress levels. By demonstrating healthy habits and behaviors, you can encourage and inspire healthier attitudes among your staff.

Such habits could include taking regular breaks, carving out time for relaxation and socializing with colleagues after work, avoiding multitasking or overworking outside of scheduled hours – all positive actions demonstrating respect for employees’ lives outside of the office and responsible management practices.

It also promotes transparency, trustworthiness, fairness, and responsibility. Through leading by example like this with proactive stress-management strategies that help reduce burnout rates within teams, managers play a significant role in making their workplaces more efficient while keeping employee happiness at the forefront.

Encouraging team stress-management resources

manager stress at work

As a leader, you must create and sustain a work environment that effectively manages stress. This means actively encouraging employees to adopt healthy habits and participate in activities that reduce stress.

This can be done through introducing team-based stress-management resources such as wellness programs, mindfulness training, and employee assistance programs (EAP). Wellness programs help promote physical well-being, while mindfulness practices boost emotional well-being, reducing individual stress and enhancing productivity.

EAPs are designed to provide confidential advice on whatever life issues may arise for team members suffering from personal worries or concerns, which can lead to burnout or fatigue with their job responsibilities if left unaddressed.

Addressing conflicts and issues promptly

As a manager, it’s essential to address conflicts and issues promptly. Not only can it help prevent the situation from escalating, but by intervening quickly, you can also reduce stress levels in the workplace for both the involved individuals and your team.

Please respond with clarity and efficiency when issues require managerial attention and will show your team that their concerns are significant and taken seriously. Additionally, taking initiative when problem-solving can foster an environment of trust between yourself and those on your team who look up to you as a leader.

Using proven conflict resolution techniques when managing disputes can also minimize negative feelings among coworkers or teams that could continue long after any initial disagreement has been resolved.

For instance, implementing active listening skills promotes respect toward all parties involved and can draw out crucial information surrounding an issue while helping everyone feel heard without judgment or bias.

Personal Stress-Reduction Techniques

Practicing self-compassion and reflection, prioritizing self-care and work-life balance, and seeking external support and professional advice can help equip individuals with valuable skills for reducing their stress.

Dive deeper into managing personal stress for maximum efficiency.

Practicing self-compassion and reflection

Self-compassion is an essential tool in the stress reduction toolkit of any manager. Research suggests that self-compassion can help individuals reduce feelings of self-coldness, perceived stress, and burnout symptoms, as well as decrease levels of the hormone cortisol, which is released during times of stress.

Examples from positive psychology, such as warm touch or caring words, create a sense of safety and security that encourages resilience.

Managers who practice self-compassion have been known to reevaluate their perception of failure, prioritize health behaviors like exercise and healthy eating, set realistic goals, and seek support when needed.

To do this, managers should take some time each day to distance themselves from work issues and instead focus on personal interests or relaxation activities like yoga or mindfulness meditation; learning to be kinder to oneself will not only boost mood but also increase the ability to work effectively without feeling overwhelmed by job demands.

Prioritizing self-care and work-life balance

As managers, it’s easy to get caught in the grind of a busy work schedule and focus only on workload-related tasks. But our health and well-being suffer when we don’t carve out time for self-care.

stress management managers

Creating a balanced lifestyle involves ensuring adequate time for relaxation, leisure activities or hobbies, good nutrition, and physical exercise. This is essential for keeping life satisfaction levels up while managing stress at work — something any manager knows all too well!

To help manage stress effectively, prioritize commitments that matter. I’d like you to review the workload expectations regularly and guide you in assessing the right priorities so you know where to focus your energy and efforts.

Seeking external support and professional advice

As managers, it can be challenging to recognize when stress levels begin to take a toll on performance or mental well-being. Seeking timely and professional advice from psychologists or health professionals trained in handling stress is one of the most proactive steps individuals can take toward managing their stress.

Professional counselors have tools and techniques for identifying potential triggers and addressing issues before they become unmanageable. They can also help build an individual’s ability to notice early warning signs of distress, provide effective coping strategies based on each person’s unique needs and lifestyle, strengthen support networks with family or friends for better resilience against future difficulties, and engage in activities that promote relaxation.

By encouraging access to appropriate resources within the organization – such as counseling services or Employee Assistance Programs – employers can foster healthier work relationships and equip employees with the skills necessary to deal with everyday workplace stresses, ultimately leading to improved team productivity.

External programs such as mindfulness classes offered through local clinics may also prove beneficial by teaching people how to identify symptoms of burnout earlier on, along with providing well-rounded advice related to self-care plan development for better overall balance.

Implementing Organizational Changes

By creating an enabling environment for their teams, managers can foster a culture that encourages resilience and effectively structures work roles to avoid burnout. Through meaningful conversations with team members, leaders can encourage open dialogue on workloads and stress management issues.

Reviewing and adjusting workloads and responsibilities

  1. To reduce stress, managers should review and adjust their employees’ workloads to ensure they are balanced and realistic.
  2. This helps foster a more collaborative work environment, which can help with the overall well-being of the manager and their team members.
  3. Balancing workloads can be managed by delegating tasks to others who are better qualified to handle them and setting manageable goals while also providing achievable deadlines for each task or project assigned.
  4. Developing clear expectations in terms of outcomes from any given task is another effective way of managing stress at work, as it helps keep everyone accountable and organized throughout the project’s lifecycle
  5. Additionally, recognizing when breaks need to occur can prevent overworking, which results in burnout and lousy decision-making due to exhaustion
  6. Finally, encouraging feedback loops between managers and their teams will significantly help when it comes time for assessing shifts that may need reallocating among available personnel

Discouraging a culture of ‘presenteeism’

As a manager, it is vitally important to understand the challenges of presenteeism and identify effective strategies for mitigating such behaviors among employees. Presenteeism is deeply rooted in many organizations; it occurs when workers are physically at their workplace but lacking meaningful productivity due to physical or mental health issues, including stress.

To combat presenteeism and bring about healthier work environments for everyone involved, managers should first recognize and accept that stress is an inevitable part of life – even more so the higher one’s position in an organization – and make efforts to create a supportive space for team members who may be struggling with mental or emotional issues related to work.

This means leading by example: practicing healthy habits, teaching self-care techniques, modeling positive behavior around resilience and tolerance of difficult situations, setting realistic boundaries between work time and personal time, and facilitating access to appropriate resources such as counseling services if necessary.

It also means encouraging regular breaks throughout the working day (scheduling lunchtime Alices) so everyone can have some time off from tasks to reflect on what’s happening in their roles without pressure or fear of reprimand or disapproval from peers or employers.

Additionally, it involves implementing organizational changes by reviewing workloads/responsibilities assigned weekly & monthly with team meetings that address conflicts & issues promptly, monitoring progress towards meeting goals, etc., while discouraging a ‘culture’ of ‘always being on.’

Supporting mental health with targeted initiatives

Creating a comprehensive plan for promoting and supporting mental health in the workplace is essential for managers looking to reduce stress levels. It starts with actively listening to employees on what initiatives they think would best help them manage any distress while considering the particular challenges of their role or organization.

For instance, providing sufficient resources such as access to therapy programs or employee wellness apps could be particularly helpful. Other measures include offering flexible working hours that allow greater freedom in managing tasks and allowing employees regular time off from work commitments to relax and recharge away from the office atmosphere.

Managers should also strive to create an environment where it’s safe to talk openly about mental health issues without fear of retribution or being judged by colleagues. If everyone understands their responsibilities and actions when dealing with difficult emotional situations, this more supportive culture will significantly reduce stress overall.


Stress can cause physical and mental harm, but when managed correctly, it doesn’t have to be an opposing force. As managers, it is vital to create an environment where stress is addressed so that everyone can remain at their highest potential and efficiency.

This should include proactive strategies for managing stress before it becomes too significant and establishing support systems after the damage has been done. By developing these strategies into our day-to-day practices, we show employees that their well-being matters and serve as role models in managing stressful situations.

Taking control of one’s mental health needs will contribute to more productive workplaces by reducing staff insecurity and promoting good work habits due to healthy self-care practices.

Implementing effective workplace stress management initiatives carries numerous benefits, including improved productivity and employee satisfaction rates – something all employers should strive for!


1. What should managers do to reduce stress in the workplace?

Managers can help reduce stress at work by encouraging their team members to set reasonable goals, promoting work-life balance, and open communication between employees and management.

2. How can managers create a healthier environment for their team?

Managers can create a healthier environment for their team by fostering positive relationships, showing empathy toward each individual’s situation, and recognizing accomplishments through rewards or recognition programs.

3. What strategies can promote resilience when faced with complex tasks?

When dealing with challenging tasks, managers should ask themselves how this task has value to the business and break it down into smaller manageable goals achievable within a reasonable timeframe. They should also provide support by regular check-ins with employees on successes and struggles they experience.

4. How could technology help manage employee stressors more efficiently?

The technology could help manage employee stressors more efficiently through implementing automated notifications about upcoming deadlines or events, setting up virtual meetings, and providing resources such as educational materials or webinars related to self-care strategies like mindfulness meditations or journaling exercises available online for easy access 24/7.

You May Also Like…