Reducing Stress to Boost Performance in the Workplace


Having stress in the workplace makes for an unproductive workplace. Stressed employees have difficulty finishing tasks on schedule and have a harder time positively interacting with customers. Not only that, a number of illnesses have been linked to stress, which means that a stressed out salesperson is more likely to have to take sick days or feel chronically under the weather. With 65% of American adults pointing to work as a cause of stress, it is essential that you as a manager reduce stress sources from your dealership. Here are 3 ways you can help reduce stress to boost performance in your dealership.

#1. Revitalize Your Environment

One significant source of stress is a person’s environment. Take a look around your dealership’s workspaces. What is the overall color scheme? If the answer is grey, brown or other drab colors, it could be time for a paint change. Opt for fresher, soothing colors, such as soft blues and light peaches.

Additionally, consider the space. Do cubicles box employees in tightly? Is there room to move easily within workstations? Is it possible to efficiently organize the areas or just enough room for a desk and chair? Claustrophobic, messy spaces add to the perceived stress. Think about opening up the work area and providing ways for your salespeople to easily store and organize their things for a calmer, happier environment.

#2. Cut Down on Interruptions

A recent scientific finding is a need for flow. Flow is the headspace one gets into when they are hyper-immersed in a task and can concentrate fully upon it. In a state of flow, a person can finish a job more quickly and thoroughly. However, if there are many interruptions, flow is easily broken, and tasks can take up to double or triple the time. Not being able to get a job done is a source of stress for many, as they feel the clock ticking on their obligations without being able to complete them.

Examine your dealerships for chronic interrupters. Do you notice employees getting distracted by their cell phones more than their work phones? Think about making a cell corner where salespeople can park their phones and retrieve them if needed. If people are the ones who are the source of interruption, make policies about socializing during work hours. Don’t cut out socializing completely. Social interaction at work can not only help decrease stress but can also boost creativity as ideas are shared. However, as with cell phones, make socializing spaces that are away from the central work area. These areas can be inviting, such as a well-furnished lounge or coffee room. Importantly, they should be out of the line of sight of those who are still at their desks, to minimize further distraction.

#3. Make Health a Priority

Some stress is inevitable. There will be a client who will drive an employee up the wall or a deadline that puts pressure on the entire dealership. However, just because there are pockets of stress doesn’t mean you have to stay stressed. One way to help defuse stress once it occurs–and possibly circumvent it entirely–is through healthy habits.

Healthy habits include exercise and an emphasis on proper diet. If your dealership offers vending machines, make sure there are some healthy options, such as nuts and fruits available, as well as plenty of water. Encourage workers to take breaks for walks or stretches. Even a one minute walk around the dealership can clear an employee’s head, lift their mood and return them to work more relaxed and better prepared to cope with whatever comes up next.