Stress-busting tips for healthier and happier teams

Mikaela Clavel
November 15, 2023
Stress-busting tips for healthier and happier teams

Is your team stressed? The chances are the answer is going to be yes.

Stress is a part of life and, while some stress is not necessarily a bad thing, we all know what it feels like when stress overwhelms us. It can make us feel trapped, helpless, tense, anxious, frustrated, and everything else in between. It stops us from being the best versions of ourselves and living life on our terms.

And the current state is bad… because stress, depression, and anxiety account for the most days lost to work-related ill health.

From a manager’s perspective, stressed out teams (and stress in the workplace) don’t go hand in hand with getting the best results. Instead they cripple morale, productivity, and performance.

In this article we’re going to look at what stress is, how to spot signs of stress at work, and how to deal with it.

What is stress in the workplace?

Work-related stress is defined as: “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work.” 

We typically see two types of stress in the workplace:

The first kind of stress is a very ‘normal’ kind of stress. It’s the stress that comes from high workload, tight deadlines, or things like working long hours. Every job comes with pressure. It’s important to recognise when this pressure becomes too much and starts to cause stress that can be avoided - that way it makes it much easier to prevent employee burnout.

The second type of stress is far more damaging. Psychological or emotional stress happens when there’s a toxic culture or we don’t feel safe or trusted at work (it’s why psychological safety at work is so important). This kind of stress can wreak havoc in a team and a workplace - which is why it’s super important to act on any signs of it as soon as possible.

How to spot and resolve stress in the workplace

So how do you know if your team’s stressed? Sadly, there isn’t a magic spell for it, but here are some of the best places to start:

1. Be empathic

First and foremost, if you want to stop stress becoming a problem, be a good and empathetic person. It sounds simple but you’ll be amazed at the impact it can have if you practise being present for your team and being interested in them. 

The simple act of regularly checking in, of listening, of understanding what’s going on your employees’ lives, and of caring about them will go a huge way in helping you tackle stress. By being curious, honest, and open you’ll be creating a culture and an environment where stress can easily be identified and dealt with.

2. Pay attention to health and wellbeing

Stress manifests itself physically so keep on eye on how your team is feeling. Common symptoms include frequent headaches, tiredness, muscle tension, and increased irritability. 

It’s easier to spot these signs if you make physical health and wellbeing a priority. A healthy body and a healthy mind go hand in hand together. Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. This doesn’t mean everyone should spend hours on end at the gym, simply that staying active promotes wellbeing. If you have a culture that promotes this, it’s easier to see when people might not quite be themselves.

At Winningtemp we have an initiative called  “Health Days” where we promote well-being in different ways. For example, we introduce ‘Step Challenges’, we meditate and do yoga together, invite guest speakers to inspire us to be more healthy and so on. 

3. Be aware of changes in behaviour

If someone is having mood swings, withdrawing from colleagues or interacting in a team environment, taking more sick days, or even complaining more about their job and the work they do, then it’s a sure-fire sign they are stressed out. 

Again, emotional intelligence can be your best friend here. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is the capacity for empathy, gratitude and intuition. From self-awareness through to being able to listen to others, every office culture should encourage understanding between the people who work there. Employees at all levels of an organisation should feel they are in an environment where they can share their concerns or experiences with confidence and without judgement. If there’s high emotional intelligence in your team, it’s much easier to see the warning signs of any changes in behaviour.

4. Use a tool to help

Doing the above purely on gut-feel and intuition is a great place to start, but it will only get you so far. 

Luckily there are tools that can help everyone. By regularly gathering feedback from your team, an employee engagement platform like Winningtemp helps you to easily spot the earliest and most subtle signs of stress – and act to stop them from turning into bigger issues.

Here’s how our leaders at Winningtemp use our platform to pick up signs of stress:

Step 1: In Winningtemp, questions automated by AI are sent to employees to analyse their stress levels.

Step 2: The managers get insights (our feature) about the stress levels, and can look into the trend features to see how long this has been a problem and if it previously have been dealt with.

Step 3: Both the employees who are stressed and the managers with stressed employees get actionable advice on how to solve the stress.

Step 4: Winningtemp is just a tool, human problem-solving is also needed between the manager and employee.


When a great manager can use a powerful tool to become even better, you have a situation where everyone wins - employees feel cared for, managers feel empowered to help, and the business benefits from the positive culture this creates - which we know goes a long way to boosting productivity and profitability. 

Sadly, we still have a way to go before we eliminate unnecessary stress from the workplace and it’s a part of the reason why we’re facing a global employee engagement crisis. So let’s do something about it. You can take steps to combat this today with our free guide on how to improve job satisfaction.

Get the guide here.


About the author
Mikaela Clavel

Focusing on people

If you are interested in finding out more about what Winningtemp can offer your organisation get in contact with our sales team.