While we all know stress can affect the way we perform from time to time, chronic stress among employees is a serious issue for employers. The impact of stress on the workplace is staggering and well-documented. It lowers productivity significantly, accounting for many lost days, lower productivity, increased injury rates, inflated healthcare and insurance costs, higher turnover, and more violence.
Fairleigh Dickinson University estimates stress-related expenses for employers is $200 million, and some U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports indicate the cost may be even higher. Each year, roughly 550 million working days are lost, 50 to 60 percent of which are due to stress, and job stress is responsible for 20 percent of last-minute no-shows. Plus, the American Institute of Stress reports that stress-related rage, verbal abuse and violence in the workplace is on the rise, weakening working relationships and team function.
Employers are not helpless against the negative effects of stress, however. By promoting wellness among the work force, employees tend to be more productive, perform better, present more, have higher morale, become injured less often, incur fewer healthcare costs and stay with companies longer. Doing so can be as simple as implementing programs to educate workers on how to improve mental and physical health, avoid unhealthy reactions to stress, diffuse conflicts, better communicate with co-workers and organize workload.
For more information on managing stress in the workplace and improving employee wellness, contact Saint Francis Medical Center's Services to Business at 573-331-5825.