Research shows that workplace stress can lead to employee burnout and high turnover rates. Workplace stress and anxiety was already a problem before the Covid19 pandemic. Leadership often stressed about market volatility, the impact of globalization, supply chains dynamics, developing the right company culture, shareholder pressures, HRM, and the imminent menace of competitors, to mention a few. But there is hope--read-on.
On the other hand, employees stressed about performance expectations and evaluations, interpersonal dynamics, workplace safety, job security, and reaching sales targets among others. Add to these workplace stressors strained family dynamics and you'll understand why 72 percent of American workers reported experiencing daily stress.
The arrival of Covid19 significantly increased the already high workplace stress and anxiety levels at all sectors in an organization. Leadership is concerned with Covid19-related increased cost, increased liability, reduced revenue, increased market volatility, absenteeism, and other HRM issues associated with Covid19. And employees are worried about being infected with Covid19, job security, childcare issues, working from home with their children, and they fear infecting loved ones.
These stresses are especially real for first-responders such as medical personal, law enforcement, government workers, and others, who face Covid19-related stressors up-close and personal on a daily basis.
The evidence is clear and overwhelming regarding the adverse impact of workplace stress. A Harvard study found workplace stress reduces employee performance, decreases morale, increases turnover, produces poor employee retention, threatens safety, decreases employee engagement, and results in negative health impact.
Therefore, combating workplace stress is a smart cost-savings business move. Reducing employee stress enhances performance and productivity, reduces turnover, improves creativity, and enhances employee health, all of which result in increases revenues.
Here are some ideas that have been helpful for reducing stress:
Develop stress management programs and encourage your team to take advantage of stress-management webinars, wellness tips or programs, and yoga or meditation classes. These initiatives are likely to be more effective and successful when leadership themselves participate in the stress reducing programs.
Ensure employees are taking regular breaks, including management.
Encourage employees to exercise daily, take time for friends or a significant other after work, pursue hobbies, listen to music and take time off.
So, workplace stress can adversely impact your business and take a bite out of your profits. But it does not have to be so. Management should take specific actions by developing and participating in stress management programs. Such actions on the part of management can reduce workplace stress significantly and improve company bottom line in the process. Talking to a coach can be helpful.