Tight deadlines, increased workloads, poor work-life balance, long commutes — these are just a few factors employees face in today’s hectic workplace.
But employees can handle only so much. When they reach the breaking point, it results in stress, which is an issue that’s becoming an increasing concern for their managers. Stress not only leads to absenteeism, diminished productivity, and increased healthcare costs for businesses, it can prompt employees to quit.
Randstad, the third-largest staffing organization in the U.S., recently conducted a survey and found that stress was cited as a top reason to leave a job.
When asked to select up to three out of 10 possible factors that might push an employee to leave a job — including excessive workload and difficult working relationships — a high stress level was the third most-selected reason, behind pay and opportunity for advancement, according to survey respondents.
Randstad’s study also examined how the impact of stress varies among gender and generational groups. When it comes to gender, 27 percent of women, compared to 22 percent of men, cite a high stress level as a top reason to leave their current jobs. Within generational groups, one quarter of Gen Y/millennial employees say stress is a likely reason they would leave their current organization, similar to Generation X and Baby Boomers, both at 24 percent.
So what’s the solution to managing workplace stress before it pushes employees out the door? Randstad has outlined five tips to alleviate workplace stress, giving managers practical steps to ensure that employees are effectively handling workplace pressure.
1. Communicate often
By effectively communicating with workers, managers can better gauge the stress levels of their employees and work to diminish pressure before it affects morale and productivity.
2. Promote workplace relationships
Employees who actively connect with one another often create a better office environment. It’s important to set aside time for staff to socialize and get to know one another.
3. Encourage wellness companywide
Wellness programs have been proven to help relieve workplace stress. Give employees access to wellness programs that help relieve stress, whether it’s a company workout facility or reimbursements for yoga classes.
4. Set an example
Healthy stress management starts at the top. If employees consistently see their boss as being stressed, the negative energy can trickle down and impact the entire team.
5. Empower your employees
One of the most stress-inducing triggers is feeling out of control, so allow employees to take ownership of their work and give them as much control as possible when it comes to making decisions on how work gets done.
The good news about workplace stress is that it can be managed, especially when employers provide support.