Hiring is not the only responsibility of a company’s HR department. If you give a look at the term, it expands to Human Resource Department, which ideally should take care of the human resources, the employees, working in the organization.
Some of the roles of human resource department in an organization are –
- Identifying training requirements of existing staff
- Providing or making arrangement for the training of individuals and teams
- Providing employee welfare
- Organizing employee engagement activities
- Offering gifts with personalized labels and rewards to deserving employees
- Establishing and maintaining positive employee relations
- Record keeping
- Ensuring safe and pleasant working environment
- Creating and distributing important documents among employees and keeping them informed of the latest events in the company
- Working as customer service desk of the company for the employees
- Answering employee questions
- Identifying employees’ work-related issues and providing consultation and solution
If I list all the activities that an HR manager does on her typical workday, then, I believe, the focus of this post will move from the stress management best practices to the roles, responsibilities, and duties of human resource department. Let’s better not get into that.
Of all, recruitment is widely accepted as the core duty of an individual working in the HR department.
However, identifying the problems an employee faces and providing solutions to those problems is the most important and challenging undertaking for HR personnel.
The Employee Issues
Even a loyal and sincere employee could be facing some serious issues carrying out his job. Here are some of the common problems an employee faces in the workplace: interpersonal conflicts, gossip, bullying & harassment, discrimination, job satisfaction, stress, and lack of motivation and focus.
Due to any of these issues, even a strong individual can go through a lot of stress, which, according to human psychology, leads to lack of motivation and interest in the job.
No company can afford to lose a good employee. You lose a dependable resource. Hiring a candidate with same interpersonal and professional dexterity is a herculean job.
How do HR experts identify and help employees undergoing stress?
Before we proceed to that, let’s first understand what stress is?
Stress is a state of emotional and mental pressure, says NHS UK. All-time irritability, anxiety, fearfulness, and low self-esteem are major symptoms an individual shows in an hour of stress. These symptoms can be noticed just by passing a simple “hello” and having the small conversation the stressed.
As an HR, you should be careful how your workers act.
Are they meeting their daily goals? Are they coming to the office every day? How many sick leaves have they applied for in recent? Do they remain at their workstation without taking a break? How much time do they spend in the office each day? Do their co-workers have any complaint against them? What does their manager say about them?
These and many similar questions will help you notice an employee going through stress at workplace.
Always respond to the complaint of co-workers, subordinates, and seniors and take unbiased steps.
Solutions can only be given after understanding and discussing the causes of stress.
Once you have spotted an individual with stress, try to identify the stressors. Discuss the causes of stress with them.
Sometimes the reasons may not be office environment. Chronic pain is often linked with stress. Failed relationships also do not let some people focus on work. In such cases also, you should act like a mentor and offer consultation.
Assure that the talks between the two of you will be private and confidential. Given that, it would be wise to have this discussion in a private cabin away from the workstation.
Encourage open and honest idea sharing so that you can do confidence building.
Ask questions in a friendly manner, and give the individual time to explain the story they have on their side.
Don’t hesitate to provide consultation and solution.
Never overpromise while providing a resolution
Once you have identified the individuals and their causes of stress, you should be careful not to make overly pleasing promises that cannot be delivered. Listen to their expectations and ask for some time to discuss the matter with the team and the management.
And never give a time frame by when their problem will be sorted out. The best answer here can be – I will try to get things right ASAP.
Place a drop box where your employees can share their problem anonymously
Possibly at the reception or on each floor!
This will allow your employees to write and share their problems without revealing their name. Sometimes, exact seniors are the biggest worriment for an individual. Not everyone prefers going to the HR complaining about their boss.
A drop box in your office premises or a shared spreadsheet on Google Drive could be quite useful in this regard.
You can put in place a dedicated stress management helpline in your organization. Your employees can call that phone number and log their issue.
Talk about stress issues openly
That should not be an issue!
You can include a short message to encourage your employees to “speak to the HR or use the stress helpline” in your HR communication emails.
Doing so will help maintain how open you are about taking complaints from your employees.
Ask managers and leads to mind the importance of work-life balance while assigning tasks
No matter how smart an employee is, unrealistic targets can do potential damage to his or her motivation level and focus towards work.
Ask the task assigning chairs to not to overload their team member with deadlines. Stress takes over when there are unachievable targets to meet.
One great way to avoid stress and manage workload is practicing yoga, meditation, and stretching on a regular basis.
To sum up …
Identifying the stressor or the causes of stress is as important as it is to find those who are stressed. As soon as both the factors have been spotted, it is the job of an HR to set up a help mechanism that can be introduced to help the employee overcome stress and work again dedicatedly and fearlessly.