Down with bad stress

9 CEO-approved ways to help employees focus and re-energize during and after big projects.

In the short term, “good” stress can help focus and energize employees. But a variety of business studies indicate that chronic job-related anxiety and deadline pressures can hamper performance and creativity, increase turnover, and decrease employees’ motivation and engagement in their work. These effects may be exacerbated when stressful conditions and staff efforts are not acknowledged by managers.

To help alleviate stress that may arise in major projects,
Kim Withers, CEO of Meridian Trust Federal Credit Union, offers these suggestions:

  • Prominently display a “progress thermometer” to recognize advancement toward successful completion.
  • Build in opportunities to relax and socialize by ordering in “mile-long” subs, a taco bar, breakfast at work, or a build-your-own-sundae or season-your-own-popcorn treat.
  • Host a bowling or mini-golf outing as a break.
  • Bring in a zumba, karate, or yoga instructor for half-hour sessions.
  • Declare a flip-flop or tennis shoe day.
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