Work and stress are two words that you see together all too often. Over 60 percent of employees report that they feel stressed on average three or more workdays per week. While some stress can be positive, too much is concerning because of the negative physical and mental effects. In honor of National Stress Awareness Month in April, here are a few things you can do to help minimize employee stress:

Provide Clear Expectations
Unclear expectations can cause a lot of stress for employees. When you don’t know how to define success, you end up feeling like a failure. Make sure that your employees have clear job descriptions and know what level of performance is expected.

Treat Employees Fairly
Once you have set expectations, make sure to treat employees fairly, especially when it comes to rewards and discipline. There isn’t much that kills employee morale faster than seeing one underperforming employee disciplined while another gets away with it.

Reward Hard Work
Especially in times of high stress, perhaps during your busiest season, make sure to provide recognition to employees. Reward them for working heard. Acknowledge those that do go above and beyond. We have several ideas for how you can do this in our Employee Recognition Toolkit.

Ask for and Respond to Feedback
Especially in times of stress, employees want to be heard. They want to know that you understand what they are going through. They also want to know you are willing to do what you can to make work as enjoyable as possible for them. Ask employees what you can do for them, and then try to make their reasonable requests possible.

Have Some Fun
Especially in times of high stress, make sure to take time out of the day to have a little fun. Sharing a few laughs can lighten the mood and lower stress levels. It doesn’t have to be over the top. Look for small things you can do that will allow people to step away from work for a few minutes and destress.

Finding ways to minimize stress in your workplace can help increase employee engagement and reduce employee burnout. If you are looking for more ideas or resources, please reach out to our People Strategy team at