Employee wellness is the key to having a staff that is fully functional, both physically and mentally. When the going gets tough, it can bring about unhealthy levels of stress. Some managers make the mistake of misinterpreting job-related stress as being lazy or unmotivated. Naturally, challenges motivate us to push our own limits, but when there is too much on our shoulders, it can weigh us down to the point of no return. This is why it’s important for leaders in the workplace to be able to recognize when their employees are suffering from work-related stress.
What Are the Signs of Stress in the Workplace?
There are early warning signs of stress that you can and should watch for in your employees. Not only will it help your workers, but it could save you money from having to pay higher health insurance premiums for employees that are becoming ill from stress in the workplace. The signs to watch out for include:
• Low morale
• Short temper
• Trouble concentrating
• Job dissatisfaction
• Problems sleeping
• Upset stomach
If these warning signs are overlooked, the symptoms can turn into full-blown health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, psychological disorders, ulcers, impaired immune function and musculoskeletal disorders.
What Causes Stress in the Workplace
Finding the root of the problem is imperative to fixing the problem. The following conditions could be causing stress in the workplace for your employees:
• Stressful workflow that involves heavy workloads, infrequent breaks, long shifts and routine tasks that aren’t important or utilize the workers’ skills.
• Poor management that consists of poor decision making, lack of communication and little to no values in work/family balance.
• Poor social environment that lacks coworker and supervisor communication and support.
• Unfavorable job roles that require too much responsibility, wearing too many hats, or uncertainty in job expectations.
• Job insecurity regarding potential growth within an organization or quick changes that throw unprepared workers off balance.
• Unpleasant work environment, such as dangerous conditions, air pollution, noise, ergonomic issues and crowdedness.
According to statistics, up to 80 percent of on-the-job accidents are related to stress and 50 percent of work absences are related to stress. About $26 billion per year is spent on medical and disability payments and businesses in America see a productivity loss of $95 billion due to stress. With the right environment, management and work/life balance, you can reduce stress in the workplace within your organization.