7 Ways Hotel Managers Can Reduce Workplace Stress
Workplace stress can be toxic. Not only does it make employees unhappy and increase turnover, but research has found that it raises the risk of developing a heart rhythm disorder. Experiencing stress day in and day out isn’t good for anyone’s health. Taming stress should be a high priority for managers, but in the hospitality industry, that’s no easy feat. Many employees work long shifts, and the job demands that workers offer the same high quality of service for the guest who checks in at 2 a.m. as for the guest who arrives in the afternoon.
Still, reducing stress on the job is possible. Here are some guidelines.
1. Stay calm
Unfortunately, stress is contagious, so if you’re angry and fuming, your employees are going to feel stressed too. Speak in a low, pleasant voice, and try to keep frustration under control. Pretend that you’re an actor who’s portraying a calm and relaxed manager, and look in a mirror to check your facial expression and body language. Then try to present that calm persona even if you feel aggravated.
Smiling can bring down stress levels. Most hospitality professionals probably already know to smile when they talk with guests, but they may wear a grumpy frown when they’re dealing with employees and guests can’t see them. Remember to smile in the back of house, too.
3. Give adequate breaks
Breaks allow your employees to rest and recharge. Make sure breaks are sufficient for employees to get away from the stress of work. You might need to offer an additional break or slightly more break time than is required by law. Check that employees are able to sit down and relax on their break. If they only have time to grab a cup of coffee and run back to work, your break might be a few minutes too short.
4. Create a relaxing break room
Is an OSHA job safety poster the sum total of your break room décor? Bring in some comfortable chairs, colorful artwork, and plants. Offer stress balls or finger putty that employees can knead to reduce stress. Your employees might also enjoy a rubik’s cube, some puzzles or a Lego set—those aren’t just for kids!
5. Start a tradition
Traditions remind people that they’re part of a community, and they’re comforting when life or work gets to be stressful. Start a tradition like a secret Santa program in December, an annual food drive, or a bring-your-child-to-work day. Employees will look forward to celebrating milestones together, and they’ll gain some happy memories from each event.
6. Listen to employees
Give your employees a chance to voice concerns and tell you about aspects of the job that are causing stress for them. Being able to talk about stress openly can help people manage it. And as employees point out specific things that are stressful, you may be able to find solutions to some of those problems and reduce the stress level for everyone at work.
7. Encourage mentorships
It’s stressful to feel that you’re all alone and no one is looking out for you. A good way to address that feeling is to pair experienced professionals with junior employees for mentorships. Mentors can offer employees guidance on coping with challenges at work, and they can help integrate new employees into the workplace. Thus, employees know that they don’t have to go it alone and they have people they can turn to for support.