HR’s Guide to Stress & Anxiety Management for Burnout Prevention

If you’re an HR or People Leader, at times it may seem as if you are expected to have a magic wand and be able to make your team’s worries disappear – if only!

From high workload to unclear expectations, lack of resources to hybrid work challenges, there are so many factors that can affect levels of stress & anxiety and so many are out of your hands. 

According to the Workplace Health Report in 2023 (source Champion Health) 76% of employees reported moderate-to-high or high levels of stress, and 60% are experiencing anxiety –  these figures are growing year on year. 

While you can’t wave that magic wand and make the pile of ‘over’ workload vanish there are things that can be done that truly will have a positive effect on what is, unfortunately, a rapidly growing issue. 

 

TOP 10 TIPS


1. KNOW THE SIGNS OF HIGH STRESS & BURNOUT 

Unfortunately, by the time someone has reached burnout it can be a long road back to feeling well again. All too often the signs are there, yet we don’t see them, particularly in ourselves. Having awareness of the signs, not just for your team, yet for yourself too is vital.

Some signs to look out for include:

  • Low mood and low interaction
  • Lack of interest in work
  • Dislike for the job and work environment
  • Doubting yourself and ability to do the job at hand
  • Not engaging in social life as before
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Getting ill often – immune system low
  • Working late more often than not

 

* Do some of the above resonate? It’s ok to feel some of these things, some of the time, the danger is when this becomes the norm and having a ‘good’ day feels like a rarity. 

 

 

2. HAVE CLEAR PATHWAYS FOR SUPPORT 

When you believe someone needs support or they come to you to seek it, be clear about the resources available and how the team can access them. This can include signposting to internal resources, EAP’s, counselling services available.

* Make sure the team know that these resources are available and find ways to communicate them clearly and regularly as a reminder to people to make use of them.

 

3. CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT WITH REGULAR CHECK-INS

Recent feedback from a session I hosted on Reducing Stress & Managing Workload showed that some of the team felt uncomfortable going to HR and actually wanted to be asked if they were ok rather than having to reach out.

*So this could be an opportunity to arrange face-face meetings and ask the question, rather than for example, saying people can come to you if they have an issue. This could actually encourage more real conversations. 

 

4. GET CLEAR ON BOUNDARIES 

Saying ‘NO’ and setting clear boundaries can be one of the hardest challenges, and is something that comes up with my private clients both professionally and personally.

Knowing how to set boundaries and helping your team to do the same, is imperative to a healthy work-life balance, which will impact levels of stress, anxiety and burnout.

* Examples of boundaries that help reduce stress include: being clear on what time you will work until and communicating that to your manager,  and not answering emails after that time or engaging in any work-related tasks. 

 

 

5. MAKE SURE YOUR TEAM HAVE THE TOOLS TO MANAGE STRESS & ANXIETY

The pressures of the role are not going to go away so arranging training, and providing the resources to ensure people know what they can do in these challenging situations is essential. This educates and empowers people with valuable skills and also ensures that they feel guided and supported.

*I host workshops and live sessions that guide people in these areas, see below for details.

 

6. LEAD BY EXAMPLE 

If you are saying to your teams that they should take breaks, not work late, and should prioritise self-care, find a way to show how you and other senior leaders do that too.

*For example: Don’t send emails after a certain time/ start a wellbeing share on LinkedIn or your intranet to highlight self-care practices/ share your own challenges with stress & anxiety and let people know how you manage.  

 

7. ENCOURAGE & BUILD IN BREAKS 

Burnout is synonymous with overwork. Check that employees are taking lunch breaks, mental health days, using their annual leave. 

* I host short, live weekly sessions, that include breathwork, meditation, mindfulness and gentle movement to help companies schedule in powerful wellbeing breaks for their teams to have access to. 

 

8. BE AS FLEXIBLE AS POSSIBLE

Reports show that people want to be able to control how, when and where they work, and the trend is to focus on work output rather than work hours.  Being flexible not only affects stress & anxiety for example, due to issues of commuting, it also attracts talent and helps build loyalty. 

*Is there room to be more flexible? Having conversations with team members about their ideal work set up (bearing in mind this may not be the ideal for the business) will give you a clear picture of what your team really want, and from there new policies can be explored.  

 


9. GIVE PEOPLE OPPORTUNITIES TO CONNECT AND SHARE POSITIVE EXPERIENCES

Feelings of isolation and disconnection are on the rise, which can impact levels of employee engagement, stress & anxiety, and burnout.

* Create spaces where people can come together and experience positive connection, and expression on a regular basis rather than one-off event. 

 

10. LASTLY – know that there is only so much you can do – and managing employee wellbeing along with all of the other major tasks at hand such as; recruiting talent, onboarding, dealing with skills shortage, embracing AI….and on the list goes! is not something you can, or should, do alone. 

 

WAYS I CAN SUPPORT YOU:

🔺 COMPANY WORKSHOPS on KEY WELLBEING THEMES including:

  • Reducing Stress & Managing Workloads
  • How to Cultivate Calm Amid Chaos & Alleviate Anxiety 

FIND OUT MORE https://corporate.tulatherapies.com/#WORKSHOP 

🔺 CLUB ZEN – BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER TO ENHANCE THEIR WELLBEING & THRIVE

  • Live, group, consistent wellbeing sessions
  • A unique video & audio library
  • From breathwork to mindfulness, mindset to meditation – all sessions educate people on how to manage stress & anxiety
  • Packed with performance enhancing techniques
  • Continuous feedback & engagement

 

FIND OUT MORE: https://corporate.tulatherapies.com/club-zen/


I would love to hear from you and see how we can support your teams to manage the challenges they are facing and make a genuine difference to their wellbeing,
Email me, Alex, at hello@tulatherapies.com.

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