Stress is a simple fact of life. Even though there is no authentic way to eliminate it from our lives, there are ways to minimize its effects on our physical and mental health.
The American Psychological Association estimates that job stress costs $30 billion per year. A Towers Watson and Company study of 892 employers worldwide indicates stress as the biggest lifestyle risk, closely followed by obesity and lack of physical activity. There is no doubt that fostering a workplace that addresses the causes of stress, and implements ways to help combat it, will increase talent attraction, satisfaction, retention, health, and productivity.
The best way to create a healthier workplace, regarding stress, is to look at the various sources of stress. It has become an unspoken expectation among employers and employees alike that access to email outside of the office means that it should be monitored at night and on weekends. This 24/7 connectivity is causing significant stress. An unclear expectation, such as being available at all hours, is just one of several areas of the common causes of stress in the workplace. Other common causes of stress reported by workers include low pay, lack of growth opportunities, and hours of work.
However, there is a disconnect between management and their teams regarding stress factors. Organizations need to develop leaders who can identify stress among team members and be empowered to make changes as needed to benefit the individual, team, and company.
Workplace stress can lead to top talent looking elsewhere. Employee turnover is an increasing issue within all industries. The cost to replace a team member can rise as much as 50-60% of that individual’s annual salary.
Mental health benefits, wellness programs, and EAP services promote a healthy workplace. However, they are ineffective if not utilized.
Behavioral changes within management can be more effective than company resources for health. Changes such as aligning assigned work with a team member’s skill set, increasing communication efficacy between management and teams, and reassessing pay scales can be more beneficial than other health resources that the company provides.
Stress affects everyone in unusual ways. Identifying the root causes of workplace stress and implementing measures to reduce stress will benefit everyone within the organization, while increasing productivity, revenue, and, most importantly, employee engagement and satisfaction.
David Klein is a leading Executive IT Recruiter & Headhunter with over 15 years industry experience. As Manager of Recruitment Strategy for KDS Staffing, Inc., he has achieved industry-leading success. David has successfully led, trained and introduced many in the art of Executive Recruitment and Headhunting. If you or your organization would like to discuss hiring needs, contact David at 646-650-2833 or firstname.lastname@example.org.