Stress costs businesses billions of dollars every year. In fact, up to one-third of workers report feeling high levels of stress. This can have far-reaching effects that touch nearly every aspect of the workplace. Not only does stress lower efficiency and performance levels, but it is also responsible for up to 40% of job turnover. This puts physical strain on an individual and their family, which can translate to increased medical bills. From an employer’s perspective, this leads to costs that must be absorbed as a result of sick days, absenteeism, and disability, not to mention the expenses associated with searching for and training new staff members.
You might be wondering, if stress is so prevalent in the workplace, what can possibly be done about it? You can actively reduce some of these monetary and emotional expenses by fostering a workplace that addresses the initial causes of stress. And then, beyond that, implement ways that you can reduce stress levels. Your employees – and your bottom line – will thank you.
If you are going to create a healthier workplace, you first have to have a good understanding of where employees are encountering most of their stress. For many, needing to be constantly “on the clock” is a huge source of anxiety. It means that employees are never able to fully relax and separate themselves from the office. While this tends to be the most common cause of stress in many industries, workers also cite low pay, too few opportunities for advancement, and long hours on the job.
One of the best things that companies can do is train managers to recognize stress within the team before it takes too much of a toll. These individuals should be empowered to make the necessary changes to benefit all parties. When managers are more aware of the inner workings of a group, communication will naturally improve. They can do seemingly “small” things like aligning assigned work with a team member’s interests or skill set. These may seem inconsequential, but they can actually make a huge difference on employee stress levels.
Additional resources, such as mental health benefits and wellness programs – like after-work yoga classes – can also make an impact. But it only works if the employees are actively utilizing them. By finding what works for your organization, you can lower levels of stress amongst employees and turnover rates as a result.