Employees who suffer from workplace stress tend to have decreased productivity, increased absenteeism and a higher job turnover rate. However, this figure doesn’t take into account the cost of recruiting and training new staff when stressed workers chose to move on.
In the short-term, workplace stress can cause nervousness, tension, strain, anxiety and depression. In the long-term, stress can increase the chances of heart disease, musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal disorders. It is a serious issue that employers can’t overlook.
When considering the stress placed on your workers, management needs to consider potential stressors – these can be physical or environmental, such as loud noises or uncomfortable working conditions; or they can be psychosocial, such as the pressure of long hours, tight deadlines or job insecurity.
How do you even begin to recognise stress in your workers?
Sometimes it’s not easy. A stressed worker may have visible signs of tension, weight loss and irritability. Workers should be educated to recognise other signs of stress in themselves such as headaches, insomnia, an inability to concentrate, nausea and depression. Your workers need to know to attribute these symptoms to stress and they must also be comfortable bringing their concerns to their managers.
A regular education program can go a long way to managing stress in your workforce. This can take a number of different forms, including regular staff meetings, posters or information on the intranet. However, the most important element to managing stress is communication. Your workers need to know that stress is a very real issue which they should not ignore and which management will not ignore.
The cost of ignoring and or doing nothing could be high for your employees and for your business .