Workplace Stress is a Management Issue

Workplace StressYour company is only as productive and healthy as your staff. If they are stressed, productivity suffers.

The key findings of the Medibank-commissioned research into work related stress are that:

Stress-related presenteeism and absenteeism are costing the Australian economy $14.81 billion a year.  Stress-related presenteeism and absenteeism are directly costing employers $10.11 billion a year.  The figures shown above do not reflect the hidden cost of re-staffing and re-skilling, when stress results in staff turnover.

Presenteeisim relates to workers being physically present at work but either performing below capacity or transferring either physical symptoms to other staff or contributing to a negative or toxic environment.  Mental health days are fast becoming the norm rather than the exception and the cost is enormous, both to the bottom line and to the added stress on those employees who are called upon to make up the shortfall.

Stress is a management issue

Work related stress is a management issue.

Employers need to realise that work related stress is a health and safety issue and a company should ensure as much as possible that employees are not subjected to unnecessary stress.

A person conducting a business or undertaking has the primary duty of care under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers and that other persons at the workplace are not put at risk from the work that is carried out.

Most of the stress created at work is preventable with the right tools and much of it can be resolved once the causes of the stressors are identified.

Real cost of stress

Stress at work is a growing problem worldwide. It affects the health and well-being of employees, but directly impacts on organisational productivity. Work related stress occurs when the demands placed on an employee outweigh the person’s ability and capacity to cope. It is the second most compensated work related issue in Australia, after physical injury.  And it is on the rise.

On average, six working days of productivity are lost per year per employee due to presenteeism, costs borne by the employer.  Employers shouldn’t sit on their hands on this issue. One of the hidden costs of work related stress occurs when employers don’t take action and good employees quietly leave.

Sources of Stress

Sources of work related stress include conflict with co-workers or bosses, constant change, perceived unfairness, insufficient training or clear role description, too many demands, job insecurity and bullying.

These and other stresses need to be tackled directly in order to break down the emotional strain involved in them. They do not go away of their own accord and often escalate as one stress builds on another. Once an employee adopts a negative attitude through unresolved stressful issues they tend to start seeing everything through the same negative lens and not only does this create more stress for that individual, a ‘rotten apple’ type of effect is then possible.  This can result in a very toxic and negative work environment for all employees.

Neuroscience is the answer

Recent developments in the field of Neuroscience are changing the way stress is dealt with. Most techniques currently being offered as solutions are little more than distractions or band aid solutions which temporarily take the mind off the situation at hand but do little to address the cause. Such solutions include relaxation techniques, getting out in nature, deep breathing, a better diet, more breaks, relaxing music, hobbies and exercise.

While all of these are valuable and make us feel better, their effect is at best temporary as the ’cause’ has not changed.

Real cause of stress

Solutions for Stress is based on the assumption that “All stress is caused by perception, not the actual circumstance or issue.” This training is based on retraining the mind to process ‘stress’ differently until stress-free becomes the default mind program. It is a completely new approach and one which not only works to eliminate stress but has cumulative and spill over effects to other areas of life.

Resilience to stress can be taught and developed by corporate wellness programs based on these new approaches. If you would like to know more about our corporate wellness program for stress or results coaching contact us here.

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