Stress

Stress, an emotional factor that causes physical or mental tension may cause sickness is commonly seen in employees. A high employee turnover has occurred in various companies and has determined that stress is the cause. In order to reduce stress in companies, the causes of stress must be established. There’s a wide range of causes because stress affects people differently. What stresses one person may not affect another, because age, experience or gender may affect whether an employee can cope or not.

“A 2011 World Health Organization commentary on gender disparities in mental health revealed that just as gender influences a person’s social position, status and treatment in society, so it affects what gives men and women stress and how they react to it.” ( Health at work. ) Dr. Fong a Senior Consultant and Director of Occupational Medicine explains in Health at Work that women and men stress about different matters. Usually men suffer more stress due to their career progression, and the fear of making mistakes, while women stress more over the income inequality and rank in the industry.

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The following chart shows different results in surveys made by Northwestern National Life, Families and Work Institute and Yale University

Workers who report their job is “very or extremely stressful.” 40%
Workers who report they are “often or very often burned out or stressed by their work” 26%
Workers who report they feel “quite a bit or extremely stressed at work” 29 %

Work- related stress is also known as “burnout”. The “burnout syndrome “is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion caused by excess of stress. It usually occurs when one loses interest and motivation, because they feel overwhelmed. Work-related stress can be caused by low salaries, since some employees have to adjust their pay to support the necessities of their families. Excessive workloads also are a major cause of stress, employees need to learn to manage their time in order to get everything done on time, so they don’t deal with work accumulation. Unclear tasks and unrealistic deadlines and expectations can also cause stress since employees sometimes have to burn their brains to understand how the task can be done.

The following graph displays the main causes of stress.

In order to manage and reduce stress, the causes must be known. It is recommended to do stress relieving activities such as exercise, yoga or any form of physical activity. Companies should offer free yoga lessons and gym memberships to encourage their employees to release their work-related stress and pressure with physical activity.

Another way stress can be reduced is by building a relationship between the employer or manager and their employees, talking to them and understanding how to identify the signs of stress. It’s important to identify the signs to make it easier to remove the cause. Some signs that can help you recognize if your employee is stressed is by watching the interaction they have in a team, if they argue, decrease their performance, complain, arrive late for work, change their way of acting and thinking with mood swings.

It all start when training employees, employers should apply limits, like no work at home limits. So, workers learn to create boundaries between work and home. This no work at home limit will consist of no checking emails, and finishing assessments from home, because employees should take advantage of their time at the office. Companies should also offer family coaches, because many workers don’t create boundaries between work and home and bring all their problems from home to work. Companies should also offer free yoga lessons and gym membership to their employees for them to release their work-related stress and pressure, and encourage family activities

To conclude, each company should offer an Employee Assistance Program for all the employees of the company. This program should be in charge of encouraging all the workers to accept the help offered by the program, to assist seminars on controlling stress, and provide counseling. The program will also provide meditation, and deep breathing exercises than employees can attend when feeling desperate and full of stress. Managers will also be capacitated with work place management training, so they can support their staff and make them aware of the benefits this program offers.

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