Two-thirds of employees think their workplace is stressful: Survey

Managers should hold regular review meetings, clarify expectations to reduce stress
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 05/03/2012

Two out of three workers think the stress level at their workplace is high, according to a survey of more than 450 Canadian and American employees by Right Management.

“When asked, employees will usually say their job or workplace is stressful,” said Michael Haid, senior vice-president of talent management. “After all, we’re talking about work, not play, so we shouldn’t be surprised if there’s high energy or intensity on the job.”

One-quarter (24 per cent) said the stress level at their company is medium, while 11 per cent said it is low, found the survey.

The percentages suggest that workplace stress is at an unusually high level, said Haid.

“It would be foolhardy for management to dismiss employees’ complaints because a perception of stress impairs engagement and that is a core issue that impacts productivity and the bottom line,” he said.

A combination of factors are to blame for an increase in workplace stress levels including employee cutbacks, lean staffing, a weak job market and a relentless pressure for companies to perform, said Haid.

To help employees manage their stress levels, Haid recommends managers do the following:

•Hold regular work review meetings to clarify priorities and deadlines.

•Be open and authentic when sharing company performance information.

•Clarify for each individual employee their role in making the organization successful.

•Foster flexible working practices to help employees to juggle work and life pressures.

“Stress can significantly impact an employee’s health and well-being,” said Haid. “While there’s a balance in finding the right level of productive tension that drives employees to perform and excel, too much stress can cause longer-term detrimental problems for both the individual and the organization.”

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