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While our recruiters here at ExecuTeam see a number of candidates who excel at handling stressful situations, our recruiters also come in contact with candidates who are seeking new opportunities in less stressful work environments. Recognizing the level of stress in your office environment and lower that stress can lead to higher staff retention and lower turnover which, in turn, leads to higher productivity and employee satisfaction. Below are some tips to navigate and mitigate the stressors found commonly in offices.

  • Be proactive in controlling your staff’s stress levels.

You can be proactive in managing the stress levels in your office. Setting reasonable expectations and clear roles keeps your staff from feeling unreasonably stressed from management and builds trust between you and your staff. Clear expectations and roles also lower chances of conflicts between coworkers which, of course, produces stress.[1]

  • Encourage a reasonable work/life balance for your staff.

Another avenue for reducing stress in your staff is to encourage a healthy work/life balance for your employees and modelling the same. While recognizing that your work is important, acknowledging that your staff has a full life is essential. Encouraging a work/life balance enables your staff to replenish the vitality and energy they bring to your medical office.[2]

  • Make your staff aware of the symptoms of work related stress.

Your staff may be working under a constant barrage of stress which they may think is normal. Their stress may be so constant that it could be eating away at their health, satisfaction and productivity without their knowledge. Symptoms of work-related stress include headaches, sleep disturbances, poor concentration and depression. These symptoms can lead to more sick days and arriving late to work more often.[3]

  • Educate your staff on compassion fatigue and emotional burnout.

As mentioned above, your staff may not be aware of what factors are particularly causing their dissatisfaction. Educating yourself and your staff on these two common emotional responses in high stress offices can help mitigate the damage done to your staff. Fatigue and burnout are natural responses in staff that cares deeply and constantly about their jobs.[4]

  • Provide your staff the tools to manage their stress in their own way.

Educating your staff includes measures to counteract compassion fatigue and emotional burnout include breathing exercises, social support and participating in charitable events.  Make your staff aware of the benefits of arriving early, being prepared, well rested and healthy eating.[5]

  • Create an office environment which naturally lowers stress.

Make your staff’s surroundings inviting and calming can play a large role reducing stress. If you can, select soothing tones for your office décor and provide serene background music. Also, allow for morning and afternoon breaks, if possible, and time for lunches outside of the office.[6]

Making these efforts to reduce your staff’s stress demonstrates not only to your employees but to your patients as well your commitment to their well-being and health. A happy, low-stress work environment is a constant concern. However, with the right approach, you can retain your employees at their highest productivity and reduce your turnover.

[1]  http://www.physicianspractice.com/staff/what-level-stress-your-medical-practice

[2] http://carrington.edu/blog/medical/top-stresses-health-care-workers/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2408543/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2408543/

[5] http://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/stress-management-tips-in-healthcare

[6] http://nursingassistantguides.com/2012/how-to-manage-stress-as-a-medical-assistant/

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