Executives juggle many things when running a business. Hiring and managing employees, payroll, and quality control, to name a few. All these – in themselves – may not be stressful, but collectively, they can be hard on executives – and tough on their teams. Want to help alleviate stress among your team? Apply these five positive practices.

1. Choosing to be positive boosts gratitude

Focusing on what you have – rather than on what you lack – can decrease stress. How does this happen? If you consider all the things you don’t have, it’s easy to be in a constant state of want. Instead, looking at the things you do have, sparks gratitude. Executives can practice this by spending the first part of the morning in a state of gratitude. List five or more things that you’re thankful for, or ask team members to do the same. It’s amazing how this small practice can start the day in a positive tone.

2. Celebrating successes highlights hard work

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the C-suite or just starting your career: The child in us still wants to be recognized for our success. Executives and managers will begin to see long-term success when they highlight and celebrate their team's success, too. Here are a few simple ways to do just that:

  • Practice simply saying it. Tell the person how great of a job they’re doing, or better yet, compliment them in front of the department.
  • Tell success stories. In staff meetings, highlight an employee “win” that aligns with company goals.
  • Give gifts. What better way to say “good job” than to give a personal or monetary gift?
  • Give extra days off. No work and still get paid? That sounds like a great way to say “thank you” to us!
  • Schedule off-campus celebrations. Host a gathering off-site with games and dinner.
  • Plan team get-togethers. Host a party of team members to celebrate together.

3. Sharing tasks lightens the load

An organization that shares the load will have much more gratitude because one person isn’t carrying the (company) world on their back alone. A great way to build this into your culture is to be an executive who cares more about people than outcomes. Employees are the most significant investment a company has. If employees leave, that leaves a considerable gap to fill, too. But if your team is willing and experienced at collaborating, then the time in-between won’t be as difficult.

4. Squashing gossip enhances collaboration

Gossip, more than most vices, can hinder collaboration. If rumors spread about someone and it comes back to them, they are less likely to trust their teammates. It’s in the best interest of the executive to squash gossip culture and even rumors themselves before they spread among the team. This is tricky—but doable. How? Executives lead from the front by setting an example. Keep an ear to the ground and address unsavory talk, so it keeps momentum.

5. Building momentum for long-term success

Nerdwallet suggests putting 40%-80% of your business revenue toward employee salaries []. Yes, that can be a big number — but consider the implications. If you underpay employees, they may leave. That means finding someone to replace them, job training, and culture coaching. All of those tasks take time. However, pay isn’t everything to employees, but it is significant. An executive who’s in tune, empathetic, and fair will increase momentum. A small block on the tracks will keep a train from moving, but a moving train will plow through a wall.

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