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Employees are stressed out

December 17, 2018

By Sara Sosnowski, courtesy SBAM Approved Partner ASE

This time of year many of your employees may experience increased stress levels due to the holidays.  But according to a recent survey by Korn Ferry, this stress isn’t the only extra pressure your employees have felt lately.

The survey reported that 65% of respondents said that their stress level at work is higher today than it was five years ago.  Workplace stress has expanded outside the office as well.  76% of the employees surveyed agreed that stress in the workplace has had a negative impact on their personal relationships, and 66% have lost sleep due to stressors at work.  Stressed employees are probably not happy employees and sometimes the stress they feel from work gets to be too much, causing them to call in sick (10%) or quit (16%).

If stress is causing employees to leave, it is important to know what is causing it.   The number one choice was their boss (35%), followed by a long commute (20%), a low salary (19%), co-workers (14%), and too much work (12%). In addition to these stressors, 80% reported that a change in leadership (e.g., new boss or head of their division) impacts their stress level.  
“There are many factors that cause increased stress levels at work, including keeping up with changes in technology, increased workloads, and interpersonal conflict,” said Dennis Baltzley, Korn Ferry senior partner and global head of Leadership Development Solutions. “Obviously the capacity to deal with stress will vary from individual to individual, but organizations can take steps to help mitigate stress, such as offering training on new technologies and development for managers on how best to lead.”

While 12% rated too much work as the biggest stressor, the results painted a different picture when asked what is more stressful – too much work or not enough work?  79% said that not having enough work is more stressful than having too much.  But this doesn’t mean to just give employees more work.  74% would prefer more work but also more compensation to go along with it as opposed to 26% who want less work and less money.

Don’t wait until an employee tells you they are stressed to take the steps to mitigate it.  When asked how likely employees are to confide in a co-worker about the stress they are dealing with at work, over half (53%) said that they are unlikely to share. 

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