By Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half
There’s no denying that working in finance can be stressful. With mental health awareness week coming up, now is the perfect time for companies to look at how they can identify potential stress triggers for employees and work to address these.
Having an overly stressed team isn’t good news for business, especially at crucial times. According to a survey by Willis Towers Watson, 57% of employees who felt high levels of stress also reported that they were disengaged. Not only this—our research showed that stressed employees experience frequent illness and absenteeism.
Here are four reasons your finance employees are showing signs of stress and ways you can remedy the issue before it affects your company culture and business targets.
- They’re overworked and under supported
Your top performers can only work at their best when they feel like their workload is manageable. When tasks begin to pile up and deadlines get tough, stress becomes unavoidable and output drops. If you feel that your finance team is under more pressure than usual this end-of-year, why not consider hiring in temporary or interim support?
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Working with a good recruitment company can see the fast, smooth integration of highly qualified professionals into your team to free up top performers for value-added tasks. It’s a flexible, cost-effective solution and will preserve the efficiency of your finance team in the long-term.
- They don’t feel empowered
Tight deadlines and large workloads can make it easy to slip into bad habits, like micromanagement. Trusting that your team will handle important tasks is one of the signs of effective management and an important factor in how happy they are at work.
Our happiness report, It’s time we all work happy: the secrets of the happiest companies and employees shows that empowered staff typically make greater and more meaningful contributions towards business success, generate better ideas and are more creative. They’re also 2.7 times more likely to be happy and stress-free than employees who feel stifled.
- Poor work-life balance
Signs of stress in employees tend to manifest themselves as skipping lunches, working late or working over the weekend. Disconnecting from work and taking regular breaks has been proven to improve output and accuracy, so it’s in the business’ best interest to encourage a good work-life balance.
Lead by example by taking lunch breaks (or even taking your team out to reward them for their continued efforts) and by encouraging your finance team to ‘switch off’ from digital communications out of hours. Flexible working has also become a popular way to combat the signs of stress, and may serve as a nice benefit to offer to help improve output and morale during busy times.
- Poor relationships with colleagues
Poor relationships within your finance team can be a result of a bad hire or a product of workplace stress. Healthy and supportive relationships between employees in your finance function are important in managing stress, feeling supported and being happy at work.
This can be helped by fostering an environment of emotional agility, interpersonal interactions and a more positive attitude within your team.