“Fasten your oxygen mask before assisting others” is an all-too-familiar instruction that many of us tune out when waiting for our flight to take off. But this sage advice can not only save you in an emergency, it can save you in life and as an entrepreneur. You need to take care of yourself first so that you can take care of your family, employees and clients. If you feel overwhelmed in your business, read this first to learn how to reduce some of the stress in your life. It’s also helpful to get a refresher on the law of diminishing returns to make sure that the additional work you’re doing is actually creating a better outcome for your business.

Once you can manage your own stress, you can lead by example to create a less stressful work environment for your employees. For additional help, here are a few of my own insights based on my 20-plus years as an entrepreneur and small business advisor:

1. Set clear goals for your employees

It’s important to be transparent about the goals of the business and how job roles support these goals. This gives employees peace of mind because they know what they need to focus on and why. I recommend that you establish three to five strategic goals at the start of each year. Be sure to involve your employees in developing these goals so they buy into them and feel part of the process.

2. Offer a flexible work environment

To attract millennials to your business, it’s important that you offer “work-life” integration. This means that work is task and effort oriented. So if they work at 2 a.m. rather than 3 p.m., it’s not monitored as long as their work is completed by specific deadlines. This flexibility allows them to continue to enjoy the things they want to do — whether that’s attending their kids’ games or participating in hobbies — and still achieve what they need to for the business.

3. Share your profits

So often employees see money coming in and don’t feel like they are getting their fair share. If your business is profitable, look at ways that you can reward employees when the business does well. This could mean creating a profit sharing plan where they get a percentage of the profits or a quarterly bonus. And even if your business doesn’t have a lot of extra cash, you can be generous in other meaningful ways.

4. Discourage multitasking

Multitasking makes it hard for the brain to focus. In fact, new research shows that multitasking drains the energy reserves of your brain. It uses up the oxygenated glucose in the brain, which is the same fuel that your brain needs to focus. In fact, every time you are interrupted it also takes about 23 minutes for you to regain focus according to Gloria Mark, a professor in the department of informatics at the University of California, Irvine.

5. Encourage employees to move their bodies

The mind can’t work at an optimal level without the body. Just like you block off your calendar for work, it’s important to block off 30 to 60 minutes each day to move your body. So encourage employees to take time from their day to exercise at the gym, take a walking lunch or meeting or try a yoga class. You’ll find that your employees will work smarter, and have greater focus and clarity of thought.

These simple steps can help you reduce the stress level of your employees. Not only will this improve their lives but you will create loyal employees who enjoy coming to work each day. In turn, happy employees create happy clients and are the foundation for making your business successful over the long run.

 

Read the full article from Entrepreneur.com: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/285187

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