Workplace stress at four year high

Which of these facts surprises you the most?

  • 35% of UK employees are now experiencing an unreasonable level of stress at work
  • UK’s stress level has risen by 10 percentage points since 2008
  • UK is the highest out of the countries surveyed, which included the United States, Germany, China, Brazil and India.
  • Industry – workers in the healthcare sector have the highest level of stress
  • Industry – the public sector, financial services and retail sectors have seen the largest increases in stress since 2008
  • Role – frontline service and production workers have the most stress
  • Age – employees aged 55-64 report the highest levels of stress
StressAll facts taken from the Kenexa High Performance Institute Report – January 2012

I work in the stress management world, so sadly I am not surprised by any of the above facts. However, I am deeply disappointed that despite many other surveys and reports with similar findings, that stress is still on the increase.

Stress costs money! A rise in absence rates, increased presenteeism and a reduction in productivity, all hit the bottom line. For the individual stress can lead to any number of illnesses, and can impact on wellbeing such as causing sleep problems and high blood pressure.

So what is causing this increase in stress? Again, I don’t think any of us are going to be surprised with the following findings:-

  • work-life conflict
  • poor leadership and management behaviour
  • lack of job security
  • lack of team cohesiveness
  • lack of co-operation
  • dissatisfaction with the level of pay

stressWhat can be done to reduce stress?

The big question of course, is what can be done to reduce stress in the workplace. Senior managers need to get a grip on stress. They need to understand the causes in their organisation, and identify who is most at risk. They then need to be prepared to take the next step and make reasonable changes to reduce this stress. Such as introducing more flexible working options, being honest about job security, tackling problem managers and poorly performing teams.

This post was written by Charlie Damonsing of CLAssociates. CLAssociates specialises in helping businesses manage stress in the workplace, providing consultancy, training and 1-2-1 support. For further details please contact Charlie on 0771 559 6487.

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