Workplace Stress – Now is a Good Time to Pay Attention

business (1) The holidays are here and most likely your employee’s stress levels, which were high to begin with, have increased to ultimate, super high.  So why, as their manager, should you care?  Stress is a part of life and isn’t it the employees private concern on how they take care of it? The answer to that question is a resounding “no”.  An effective manager is aware of workplace stress and takes steps to deal with it.

People’s jobs typically require 40 to 50 hours a week – both at a worksite and, with the advent of personal electronic devises, at home during unofficial work time.  Their employment is a big part of most people’s lives, as is the stress which comes from it.  Personal stress and professional stress are linked and they influence each other more than ever.

A successful boss is aware of how workplace stress is an important part of an employee’s life and takes steps to relieve it.  Because, not only is it good stewardship, it’s important for the company’s bottom line.  A conservative estimate is that job stress costs businesses more than $300 billion a year (American Psychological Association, 2013).  Stress leads to absenteeism, diminished productivity, higher health care costs, and theft of property, time and money.

It also causes employees to quit their jobs; turnover is directly affected by stress.  Almost 1 in 4 people (24%) gave “too much stress” as a reason they would quit their job (Randstad, 2014).  Inadequate pay and limited opportunity for advancement were the only reasons that scored higher.  Unfortunately, pay and advancement are often something a supervisor can’t do anything about, particularly in a small business.

But, stress on the job is something she has power over, it can be controlled in many ways.  There are some fundamental time tested techniques, and some innovative ones which are geared to a particular worksite or type of employee.  Skilled mangers will learn and apply these ideas, because healthy stress reduction starts at the top and works its way down.

A supervisor’s negative viewpoint filters down and impacts the whole team.  Workers often identify their boss’s behaviors and attitudes as the primary stressors.  Now is a good time for managers to take an inventory of their own attitudes, as well as the employees.  Going into next year with the idea to increase the company’s bottom line through reducing workplace stress is a worthy personal and professional goal that everybody benefits from.