People in general are strong and resilient to certain levels of stress, in fact some stress can be healthy and motivating. That deadline for the project can push you to work the extra hour to complete it. That success feels good.
Let’s look at when stress isn’t healthy, for example bullying in the workplace, belittling from management, staff cutbacks, financial cutbacks, traumatic events to name a few. These are just a few of the underlying causes of chronic stress that is unhealthy and creates negative work environments.
Studies and statistics say that 58% of the work force feel overworked and 46% are stressed? One in four people leave a job due to stress. Workplace stress in the States costs an average 26 billion in medical fees and $95 billion in lost productivity
Businesses and Corporations spend millions of dollars on Health and Safety Training, with little feedback and participation from employees. It’s needed, it’s required, it’s mandated, and it’s boring. Workplaces are becoming safer because of the training and the mandates. Employees are experiencing fewer serious injuries on the job. So why is there still an issue of negativity and stress in the workplace?
The old line of “Be kind, because you never know what war another person is battling comes to mind.” Some stress comes to work with the employees. Some stress can’t be avoided. Statistics in the United States say that 85% of all accidents at work are caused by stress. That’s outstanding. With the millions spent on avoiding accidents, would it not be better spent on teaching employees how to deal with and counteract the effects of stress?
We cannot escape stress, it’s in our environment, it’s in our food (preservatives, chemicals), it’s in our relationships, it’s everywhere. If it’s everywhere, it is certainly being brought into and fostered in the workplace.
It’s time to counteract it. Time to bring healthy activities, habits and beliefs into the workplace to encourage employees to stay grounded and connected within. It’s cheaper in the long run to encourage an employee to say meditate to relieve stress, than it is to pay out a WSIB claim for an accident that occurred due to stress.
Rather than sweeping stress under the rug, hoping it will go away, like has been happening in the workplace for years, maybe it’s time to start creating an atmosphere that looks stress in the eye, and offers activities to counter act it. Why not shift the attention to supporting employees through stress so they feel safe, validated and comfortable in finding balance.