Workplace Stress

The Effects of Workplace Stress on Your Employees

04/09/2024 Written by: AP Employee Benefits

For many employees, workplace-related stress doesn’t clock out when they do, and the impact of that stress can have an impact on the employee in more places than work. The reach of impact can transfer to an employee's personal life and begin to influence how they operate outside of the workplace.

It has been shown that the impacts of employee stress can have a significant impact on workplace performance. Studies have demonstrated that when employees are consistently stressed, they are more vulnerable to increased absenteeism and turnover, reduced productivity levels and decreased morale. According to a recent report, nearly 40% of job turnover is due to stress. When the average cost to replace an employee is 120-200% of the current employee’s salary, this can be a very costly impact to an organization’s bottom line. The American Institute of Stress has estimated that the overall true annual cost of workplace-related stress amounts to over $300 billion annually.

Beyond the mental toll that workplace-related stress takes, it has been shown to have a significant impact on other aspects of an employee’s daily life including their sleep, temperament and social life. According to a recent report from Talkspace, 31% of respondents indicated that their overall happiness has been impacted negatively. This can be seen directly correlating with their overall health with 30% indicating they eat more junk food when stressed and 22% indicating their overall health is impacted negatively. Stress can be directly correlated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal, psychological and addiction disorders, and enhanced risk for workplace-related injury. A recent report indicated that healthcare costs of employees who report high levels of stress are 50% greater than those who do not. In addition, amongst adults who struggled with mental health and stress disorders, 18.5% also had a substance abuse disorder, according to the National Institutes of Health, accounting for over 8.2 million adults.

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Employers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to reduce employee stress and its overall impact on an employee’s well-being. So how as an employer can you help manage the stress levels of your population? Let’s explore some ways that you can support your employees.

  • Foster Healthy Work Relationships. As an employer, you can encourage managers to foster healthy relationships with respectful boundaries with their employees. When employees have a healthy relationship with their managers, many feel tensions eased during workplace interactions.
  • Communicate Employee Support Programs. Many employees may not be aware of all of the benefit offerings available to them, including programs that may assist in mental health and stress management. By recognizing the signs of population stress and burnout, your organization can begin to implement strategies such as mental health or team building days.
  • Prioritize Wellness in the Workplace. When an employer prioritizes the wellness of their employees, a direct correlation can be seen in overall employee engagement and satisfaction. For example, an organization could demonstrate their support of employees by conducting stress management lunch and learns, by offering additional resources to their employees at the workplace, or by encouraging the use of mental health days.
  • Offer Training for Managers. Managers often feel as though they do not have the tools or expertise to address burnout or stress in the workplace. Consider providing formal training to the people managers within your organization to help them identify the signs of stress and/or burnout and the steps they can take to proactively address these concerns within their team.

The impact of work-related stress goes beyond the immediate influence on workplace performance. It stretches much further into the daily aspects of an employee’s life and can have a significant influence on their overall health. As your organization looks to manage employee stress levels and provide appropriate benefits and resources, reach out to your AssuredPartners team for guidance, resources, and best practices.

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