Effective Workplace Stress Management Skills

Effective Workplace Stress Management Skills

In today’s fast paced society and with the current financial climate making it harder than ever to find and maintain employment, it is hardly surprising that work-related stress is a real problem for many people. Although a certain amount of stress can help getting things done on time, too much stress can result in very serious consequences for both one’s physical and mental health.

How Workplace Stress Affects Physical Health

There are many different potential implications that stress may have on physical health and well-being including heart problems such as tension headaches, high blood pressure, chronic back pain and extreme fatigue. For those under high levels of workplace stress, very serious consequences may result including diabetes, stomach ulcers, heart disease, stroke and some people may suffer a complete burn-out requiring an extensive recuperation period.

Many people find that working in very stressful environments cause overeating and significant weight gain which in itself increases the likelihood of developing many additional health problems.

How Workplace Stress Affects Mental Health

Mental health problems are recognised to be on the rise with as many as one in four people thought to be affected at some point in life. Poor sleep quality including insomnia and nightmares caused by excessive stress can have a serious impact on a person’s mental well-being. Work-related stress also may result in drug and alcohol abuse, both of which have potentially alarming effects on mental health and in some cases can trigger forms of mental illness such as depression.

Those who are in highly stressful positions may show increased irritability, high levels of anxiety and find that self-esteem is often linked to how things are progressing within the workplace. As mental health problems are a major cause of sick-leave it is really crucial to understand how to manage stress as effectively as possible.

Stress Management Tips – Regular Exercise and Eat Healthy

workplace stress management - exercise

Possibly the two simplest and most effective ways to manage workplace stress, as well as other causes of stress, more effectively is through taking regular exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet. Exercise has long since been recognised as a very effective way to improve mood and reduce tension as it provides a release of feel good hormones known as ‘endorphins’ leading to an increased sense of well-being. Ideally, try to aim for thirty minutes of exercise at least three times a week including things like cycling, walking the dog, swimming, running or a workout session at the gym.

Eating a healthy, nutritious diet will certainly help to improve energy levels and reduce mood swings, particularly if one is currently consuming umpteen cups of caffeinated drinks and sugary snacks each day. The key word here is balance, no food should be off limits, just make sure one is getting plenty of fruit, vegetables, protein and fibre. Drinking water rather than fizzy drinks or high caffeine drinks will also help with energy levels and maintaining a healthy weight in the long-run.

Stress Management Tips – Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance

work-life balance

As with establishing and maintaining a healthy diet, balance is also important in wider aspects of an individual’s life. Draw a pie chart representing an average day and fill in the segments to show how much time each day is spent working, socialising, relaxing and sleeping. This is a quick and easy way to recognise which areas are out of balance. For example if one is working 40+ hours a week and not spending any time with friends or on other social activities then this is unsurprisingly going to have an impact upon one’s ability to cope with stress.

Having a support system in place of friends, family, work colleagues, as well as a specific activity which one uses to relieve stress such as playing sport will make a big difference to both mental and physical well-being both in the short and long-term.

As highlighted above, workplace stress can have serious impacts upon mental and physical health and may also lead to reduced morale and workplace conflict. Key ways to manage stress effectively include leading a balanced life, taking regular exercise and enjoying a balanced diet.

Create Customer Loyalty: Increase Sales And Improve Business

Customer Loyalty Program - Loyalty Card

Customer loyalty- how do you get it? This is a question business owners find themselves asking all the time. Customer satisfaction is what they strive for because returning customers mean more money and referrals.

Barbara walks into your store every time with a smile on her face. She loves you and your business and is constantly sending you new customers. The only way Barbara could be a better customer is if she shovelled the snow off your sidewalk for you. How can you find more customers just like Barbara?

Customer Loyalty Is The Key To Business Success

Customer loyalty is the key to business success. All owners want to grow their business and returning customers with referrals are what keeps a business afloat and helps it thrive. So, to keep customers satisfied and returning, business owners need to get creative.

If you are a parent of teenagers, you have probably heard the term, BFF. She is my BFF or he is my BFF. What is BFF? It stands for ‘Best Friend Forever.’ Why don’t you take your kid’s favorite term and use it as a concept for a customer loyalty program for your business? Do some brainstorming to see how you can create BFF customers for your business.

4 Rules for Creating a Customer Loyalty Program

  • Make The Customer Feel Special—Learn their name and use it all the time. Set up a system to remember birthdays, anniversaries and send them greeting cards on these special days. Remembering personal information makes them feel important.
  • Be Creative—Surprise your customers with gifts, cards or personal notes with their orders to show they are appreciated. Learn their likes and dislikes. Think of your customers whenever you come up with a loyalty program. For example, when conceptualizing a physical rewards card, choose a design that resonates with your target market.
  • Be Consistent—A successful relationships require consistent communication. Ongoing contact with customers giving them new information, rewards and discounts reinforces their belief that they are special to you and you value their business.
  • Be Sincere— One fact about sincerity is that it cannot be faked. A person can spot insincerity in an instant and artificiality can damage all previous efforts to gain their trust.

All businesses are competing for customers. A customer loyalty program that makes patrons feel important will maximize profits and create a stream of new buyers through referrals. When a customer is valued, then competition is not an issue. When a person is treated outstandingly, there is no desire to seek out competitors and word of mouth referrals will come pouring in.

 

Good Customer Service – Improve Customer Satisfaction

Improve Customer Service

Good customer service is one of the most valuable tools any business owner can have. And there are a number of easy ways to ensure customer satisfaction.

 

Customer service is one of the most essential parts of creating and running a successful business. Companies known for having excellent customer service skills, friendly employees and good problem resolutions are more likely to attract and retain customers. Employee training and customer satisfaction surveys are two basic ways to ensure good customer service, and reinforce the necessity of improving customer satisfaction. There are a number of ways to improve the customer service skills of a company.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

One of the easiest ways to gauge customer service skills is to take customer satisfaction surveys. Surveying customers is a great way to determine how guests feel after interacting with a business, and they can create a goal for improving customer service with each visit. Offer a coupon or discount to customers who take an online customer satisfaction survey or fill out a printed survey at the business location.

Keep in touch with customers who offer feedback to determine if customer satisfaction is improving. Offer opportunities for guests to offer feedback on a regular basis.

Customer Demographics – How to Tailor Customer Service to the Customers

Develop a demographic of the people who use the business. This can include information about the physical characteristics of guests, as well as their lifestyle preferences, opinions and personal values. Use this demographic information to develop a strategy for making each guest feel comfortable when interacting with the business.

Use information based on customer feedback to develop a general idea about the demographic of shoppers and guests who visit the business on a regular basis.

What are the Benefits of Employee Training?

Employee interaction with customers plays a huge role in creating the level of customer satisfaction individuals feel with a business. Employees put a human face on a company, and their performance when interacting with customers can decide whether or not guests become repeat customers. Employee training offers many benefits to business owners.

Train employees to interact with customers in a positive, respectful manner. According to Be Our Guest, by the Disney Institute, customers want to feel that they are treated with respect and dignity. There are a number of ways employees can be trained to work with customers.

Training Employees for Customer Service

Employee training should include customer service and customer satisfaction as two of its central goals. Teach employees how to interact with customers in a successful and positive way. For example, each customer should be greeted with a smile and a vocal greeting. Employees should actively seek out customers and offer assistance. In case of a problem, such as a returned or defective item, employees should be able to offer a solution or find another employee who can. Train employees to focus on the positive outcome of any situation. Thank customers at the end of each interaction.

Customer Satisfaction and the Service Mission

Have employees create a service mission that reflects the desire to create a positive business experience for each customer. Display the service mission in a location that is visible to both employees and customers as a reminder of the goal of the business. Increased customer satisfaction can be easier to attain when employees have a visible reminder of their service mission.

Working with customers is a vitally important part of any business. Ensuring that each customer leaves happy will help keep shoppers returning to the business. Happy customers can keep a business afloat for many years, and well-trained employees are the best way to ensure great customer service.

Strategies to Improve Your Small Business

Strategies to Improve Your Small Business
Success by Organised Business Management and Strategy Implementation

One way to start, improve or transform any small business into a well organised, high performing and profitable business is to clearly define the vision and business strategies, to organise the business with high performance systems and to manage for results. Conceptually, this approach can be expressed as a six step process that is repeated on a regular cycle or as needed due to a significantly changed business situation. This same process is used if starting a business, with a new business or if the business is already established.

Six Step Process to Improve a Small Business

  • Use SWOT [Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats] analysis to define the key strengths and weaknesses of your business and then to extend that by considering the market opportunities and threats
  • SWOT analysis becomes the input to define the vision, competitive edge and strategy
  • Balanced Scorecard [1] is used to create the strategic focus and operational control for the business by structuring the strategy into a comprehensive set of objectives, targets and measures. This will encompass: financial, customer, internal, learning and development
  • Business plans are created and systems [2] are designed to perform all key business operations, to capture appropriate metrics and to meet the strategic objectives
  • Roles and sourcing strategy are defined to operate the business systems
  • Business plan is implemented and business is operated and managed using those business systems and as needed those systems are optimised or adapted to changing strategies

This six step process is continually being used to ensure that the business has the right strategies and maintains that strategic focus and control through implementation and execution.

Better Decision Making

Any strategic or major decisions that the business needs to take should be considered in relation to the balanced scorecard and only taken with the knowledge or expectation that it will positively contribute to the business. Major business decisions that are needed but that do not contribute to the business objectives need to be evaluated as to their real significance and importance. In some cases that decision needed is:

  • Both important and significant and identifies a balanced scorecard gap that needs to be addressed
  • Significant to the business but is not related to the important strategic objectives – it is treated with an appropriate lower level of priority
  • It is neither significant nor important and may lead to the conclusion that the business activity requiring a decision is unnecessary and so may be optimised by elimination

Organised Business Management and Strategy Implementation

Using this six step process for strategy implementation and business management will lead to a well organised and high performing business and if good strategies are selected then also to a profitable business but as always there are many caveats and things that can and will go wrong. Those things have already led to many business failures and so strategies and systems should be designed with that in mind – avoiding common business problems.