Now, more than ever people are reporting stress issues in the workplace. Many people are fearful of losing their jobs in the current economy and recent research shows that 40% of the American employees admit that their jobs are very stressful. Job-related stress in the U.S. has reached epidemic proportions, costing companies at least 300 billion dollars per year. Stress impacts the workplace in the following ways: 47% of reduced productivity and 40% of absenteeism, morale problems, and turnover.
Amazingly, 50% of American workers would not choose same career if they had a chance to start over. On an average work day, more than a million employees are absent because of stress-related problems. The American Medical Association estimates that at least 75% of visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related problems.
These astounding statistics are not only found in the U.S. Stress related problems are the most common causes of sickness absenteeism all over the world. In one study it was found that 13 million work days are lost every year in UK due to stress and related problems.
Causes of Stress in the Workplace
The most frequently cited causes of workplace stress are:
Unreasonable demands for performance
Poor interpersonal communication between the employer and the employees
Balancing working hours and family time
Under-utilization of skills
Job insecurity issues
Stress Management Worksite Programs
Most programs incorporated by companies concentrate on dealing with stress symptoms of employees. Corporate wellness programs and employee assistance programs (EAP’s) are geared toward teaching employees how to understand the warning signs of stress and how to deal with stress. Individuals can obtain psychological help and treatment via EAP’s.
But the most beneficial stress management programs are preventive, rather than reactive. Teambuilding exercises, communications skills workshops, bringing fun to the busy workplace training, trust building and problem solving workshops are examples of proactive programs that eliminate the sources of stress in the workplace.
Preventive stress management has dramatic effects on the bottom line of any corporation. Health insurance costs, worker compensation claims, absenteeism, poor work quality and substance abuse are just some of the costs that the proactive corporation can reduce significantly.
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