If you work in an industry where your employees face the potential of customer interactions, you know that there are many stress factors involved in these positions. Employees in healthcare, hotel work, criminal justice, and anyone who has to deal with the general public are at risk of destructive interactions with customers who yell at them or otherwise threaten their safety and well-being. Workers who are stressed out have lower morale, higher turnover, get sick more often, and have lower productivity. So what can you do to counteract the stress that your employees are feeling? Here are a few tips to delight them and increase their sense of well-being at work.
1. Pay attention to their needs
Often, just the simple act of listening to your employees’ needs can go a long way towards increasing morale and giving stressed-out employees a way to deal with what they’re facing. Provide a safe space where employees are free to share their concerns, and be proactive about addressing those concerns so that employees realize they are being heard. If their comments go into an unattended black hole, they will stop sharing. However, this hurts you as much as it hurts them, because you could miss out on valuable insights that they could have shared.
2. Offer “comfort packs”
If an employee has had an especially bad day due to a terrible customer interaction, it can go a long way just to let them feel cared about and noticed. What if you rolled out a program where the person who had the worst customer interaction of the week would get a “comfort pack”? It could be a small box with a few classic comforts, like chocolate, a stuffed animal, and a $5 gift card to the local coffee shop. Yes, it would be a symbolic gesture more than anything, but it can provide consolation to the soul nevertheless.
3. Provide vouchers for counseling or onsite sessions
Symbolic gifts can only go so far, but repeated interactions with unpleasant people can wear down even the most resilient employees. Why not include an employee perk or benefit where people can receive vouchers for counseling? Better yet, what if you brought in a consultant once a month to offer expert advice to your whole team on how to deal with disagreeable customers in a positive way? You will build the knowledge base of your entire staff, and even your customers will benefit as a result of the more positive interactions they are having when they are on your premises.
4. Install a duress system for employees who are at risk of bodily harm
Mental and emotional distress is bad enough for your employees to deal with at the hands of your customers or patients. However, the risk of bodily harm is in a whole separate category of seriousness. This can not only come with legal consequences and negative press, it can put the life of a human being at risk. A duress system can allow your employees to have the peace of mind that they can summon help at any time through the panic button that you have issued to each person.
Securalert wireless panic button systems protect workers in duress
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