The Effects of Stress on Employee Health, Engagement and Productivity

It’s not a shocker to learn that a blog with a name like stress.health.business. (inaugurated in 2012) has featured more posts about stress than any other topic. However, you may be surprised to see how many different dimensions there are to the stress/productivity/health relationship.

So, as we commence our 6th year of the blog, I have anthologized a diverse sampling of our top ten posts on this complex and multi-faceted subject.

1. The effect of workplace flexibility on employee stress:

Many companies are beginning to change the way they operate in order to reduce employee stress. In doing so they are recognizing that excessive stress is not only bad for employee health and happiness but it’s also a drag on productivity and the bottom line. Read more

2. The life-saving stress management techniques developed by astronauts:

Next time you start feeling the unwelcome onset of stress and all of its debilitating symptoms, take a couple of deep cleansing breaths and apply some of the life saving techniques that astronauts have developed for staying calm in crisis situations. Read more

3. The deadly public health consequences of work-related stress:

A new research study from Stanford University and the Harvard Business School has named workplace stress as a contributor to at least 120,000 deaths a year and up to $190 billion in health care costs. Read more

4. How EAPs are helping organizations deal with stress:

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) provide organizations and their employees an array of counseling and supportive services to address the negative effects of workplace stress. Read more

5. The special stress challenges confronting managers:

You’re a manager with an ever lengthening task list and rapidly approaching deadlines and you worry that your blood pressure and stress level may be reaching new heights. Read more

6. The multiple effects of stress on individual health:

Stress is a modern plague responsible for 75% to 90% of all doctor’s office visits. OSHA has declared it a workplace hazard costing American business $300 billion annually. Read more 

7. Strategies for reducing stress and anger in the workplace:

The irony is that, in organizations with highly stressed and angry employees, manager time is often monopolized by responding to the failures, problems and conflicts caused by those same stressed and angry employees. Read more

8. How EAPs are partnering with employers to develop wellness initiatives and reduce organizational stress:

 Stress is an underlying problem in a variety of chronic health condition including heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure. Increased stress can have a direct negative effect on eating behavior, sleeping patterns, and activity level. EAP’s are designed to make it easy for employees and family members to access professional consultation on the wide variety of personal and family issues that are primary drivers of individual stress. Read more

9. What organizations can do to help reduce the burdens of employee caregiver stress:

 

Providing ongoing care and support to an elder can evoke mixed emotions ranging from a sense of accomplishment and pride to guilt, anger and frustration. Read more 

10. Ten Tips for slowing down stress:

There are usually plenty of warning signs when you need to rebalance your life: decreasing enjoyment of daily life, headaches, poor sleeping, high blood pressure, irritability with family and friends, constant worrying, etc. Unfortunately, these warning signals are often misinterpreted as cues to do more rather than less! Read more

The single most important thing to remember about stress, for companies as well as individuals, is that while it may be inevitable, the effects can be mitigated. There are well-established methods for employees and business leaders to help reduce both individual and organizational stress and to realize the associated gains of better health, increased productivity, improved relationships and greater well-being.

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