How Senior Living Leaders Can Ease Employee Stress

Posted by Annie Keough on February 18, 2022


Burnout has been an increasingly popular topic recently, and ways to avoid it have circulated the internet. The new focus on preventing burnout aids both the employee and employer, as a buildup of stress (the primary cause of burnout) can negatively impact the organization as a whole. 

Stress affects focus and energy, reduces creativity, heightens negative emotions, increases the likelihood of turnover, and can manifest itself in mental and physical health issues. Continued stress can also affect employees’ quality of work and, in senior living, decreased quality of work usually means a lower quality of care to residents

Here are a few tips for senior living leaders to prevent turnover and stress in employees:

  •     1. Reward them

A common factor linked with employee turnover and stress is feeling undervalued. When leaders don’t recognize their employee’s hard work, they start second guessing themselves and lack confidence in their work. The constant state of worry and feelings of underappreciation can result in high stress levels for employees. 

Leaders can prevent this by treating employees to alternative rewards other than money, like recognition or credits to campus amenities. Check out eight approaches to build employee culture without breaking the bank.

  •     2. Encourage breaks

Though it may seem counterproductive, breaks are shown to increase productivity in the workplace. Constantly feeling overwhelmed by high workloads puts employees in an increased state of stress, but intermittent breaks throughout the day can reduce stress. When staff members are less stressed, they get more work done. 

Leaders should allow their teammates the space to take time for themselves and recuperate during their day. Encourage them to get outside for a walk, take a mindfulness break, or even do a little mindless scrolling on the internet.

  •     3. Create a positive work environment

To prevent the decreased productivity associated with high stress work environments, leaders need to shift their approaches to interacting with employees, listening, and physical office design.

Encouraging feedback and ensuring that employees know their voices will be heard fosters trust in the workplace, and reduces staff’s weariness in asking questions and making suggestions. Letting employees know that it is okay to fail sometimes, as long as they learn from their mistakes, will significantly lower stress and create a more positive work environment. Changing up the physical space that employees work in can also prevent a stressful environment. Consider increasing natural light (if your building allows it) and adding plants around the office.

  •     4. Be open

Now more than ever, it’s important to be understanding of employees’ situations given the pandemic-related stress felt throughout healthcare. Always be open to discussion and make sure that your employees know that they can come to you and count on leadership to work with them to find a solution.

  •     5. Ask what would help

Communicating with your employees about the things that would actually help reduce stress is the most sure-fire way of achieving your goal. Whether it be understaffing, faulty equipment, or a lack of supervisor feedback, consulting employees can also help you deal with any stressors in a positive and productive way that allows for employee involvement and makes them feel heard.


Wellzesta Elevate was created to reduce employee turnover and increase job satisfaction in senior living by empowering staff to focus on their well-being. 

Elevate helps staff foster a healthy and efficient work environment by increasing communication between employees, leaders, and residents.

Click here to learn more about Wellzesta or connect with a member of our Sales team.