Leadership for Life – Employee Stress

By on January 16, 2012
Employee Stress

Our Leadership experts will be sharing tips and insights for everyone, at any station in life, at both home and work. Leadership for Life – the skills you embrace represent who you really are at all times.

One of the biggest headaches companies face is the high rate of churn among employees, especially those in the under-35 age cohort. There have been many reasons put forth by countless pundits, including generational characteristics, lack of recognition, expectations of lay-offs, unpopular changes in employment practices, etc. Many of these possible reasons have in common that they create stress among employees.

One study concluded that employees who had good stress management skills were happier and more confident in their jobs, and were likely to remain with their current employer longer than those who rated their own stress management skills as poor. I couldn’t help remarking that the study didn’t recommend that employers try to reduce the stresses their employees experienced. One of those things that make you go, “Hmmm…”

I’ve noticed that the best, most skilled and productive employees are sometimes the first to suffer the ill effects of stress and consequent burn-out, perhaps because they focus so much on trying to do a great job that they neglect to take care of themselves. That creates problems, not only for the affected employees, but for their work groups and the organization as a whole.

Employee stress and its consequences represent a high cost to businesses all across the country, not only in terms of man-hours lost, but in healthcare costs, the need for retraining, quality reductions, etc. It makes sense for leaders in organizations to provide training in stress management for employees at all levels. It also makes sense for leaders to do what they can to reduce or minimize the amount of stress their employees have to cope with.

I wonder how many of you faithful readers have ever taken a stress management course. I’m also wondering about how many companies have made some effort to reduce stress in the workplace. I’ve put a short (five minutes or less) survey on the Web. Complete the survey by March 15, 2012 and I’ll publish the results soon after. Questions? Feel free to get in touch directly: bschapiro@stlcc.edu.

Take the Employee Stress Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XKVP9X5

About Barry Schapiro

Barry is the Workforce Solutions Group Practice Leader for Leadership and Professional Development. His experience includes delivery and management of business training in a variety of industries, with specialties in leadership, team development, generational diversity, and customer service. Twitter

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