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How to Help Your Employees Recharge at Work

“Rewarding Reads” is a space for articles and personal essays meant to be thought-provoking and informative for human resources professionals, from sharing the “human” perspectives on workplace issues to book reviews of business titles we find inspiring. Have an essay or blog post to share? Contact us at workspan@worldatwork.org.

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Stressed employees are everywhere. Whether it’s personal stress or work stress, you can be sure that at least some of your employees are struggling just to get through the day.

And we’ve all been there. We’ve been the stressed employee that has a hard time focusing in meetings or hitting deadlines. We have hoped that things will calm down, or that someone — anyone — will notice and offer a helping hand.

Sometimes, that helping hand is as simple as giving the employee — be it a teammate or a subordinate — a small recharge, something to help them reboot their brain and get them back on track.

I know what you are thinking. Sure… but how? Maybe your own de-stressing routine includes a hot bath and rage screaming into a pillow — effective, for sure, but perhaps not suitable for the workplace.

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Might I suggest taking a cue from The 5-Minute Recharge: 31 Proven Strategies to Refresh, Reset and Become the Boss of Your Day? Authors Lynne Everatt and Addie Greco-Sanchez have compiled this collection of quick and easy “recharges” that adapt quite well to the workplace.

Take, for instance, the first exercise in the book, “Make Your Bed.” It starts off with a quote from Adm. William H. McRaven, Navy SEAL and ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command: “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

The idea behind this statement is simple: If you start your day by making your bed, you get to end your day by literally sliding into one of your day’s victories, i.e., a nicely made bed (and come on, who doesn’t love that?). However, the exercise isn’t so much about making your bed (though I do encourage you to give it a shot), but more about recounting the victories of your day, little or big. Got out of bed? Check. Went to work? Check. Didn’t rage quit after your co-worker dumped a bunch of work on you, again? Check. Finished that business-critical project? Check.

The act of listing out your “wins” is enough to give your brain a stress-fighting boost, as it reminds you of how much you accomplished, even when you felt like you just can’t-even.

As simple as this exercise is, it’s just as simple to implement in the workplace. That 30-minute meeting you lead every Wednesday? Why not start it off by having everyone in the room look back at the previous 24 hours and spend five minutes listing each of their wins? No discussion is needed, it’s merely an opportunity for everyone to recharge themselves — and you get to be the genius who thought of it. Now, your employees will go about their day a little bit lighter, reminded that they got through a day (mostly) unscathed and ready to forge on.

And lucky for you, there are 30 more quick exercises in The 5-Minute Recharge for you to pull out at the next 30 meetings. I would definitely count that as one of your wins of the day.

Author’s note: Of the 31 exercises included in this book, I have personally tried about half of them. I have since noticed that when I start to stress out, my mind immediately goes to one of the exercises. I take five minutes to go through it quick and, sure enough, my brain refocuses and I’m ready to go — at home, at work, wherever I am.

About the Author

Stephanie N. Rotondo is a writer/editor at WorldatWork. 

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