Running a business is difficult. Managing a workforce, maintaining profits, and increasing revenue is a never ending task. In all that we often forget about the little things, such as employee mental health.
Employee mental health has become a hot topic in the workplace. Employee burnout has resulted in everything from early retirement to suicide in countries all over the world. Additionally, the World Health Organization found that workplace stress costs US employers an estimated $200 billion a year. Countries from France to China have taken initiatives to limit the impact of stress in the workplace.
Americans work longer hours than almost any others and are one of the few that do not have guarantee vacation pay. Without government intervention, it is up to the employer to manage their employees’ wellness.
There are several symptoms of a stressed employee:
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- Tardiness and absence; arriving and leaving late
- Deteriorating work performance; error prone work, forgetting deadlines, avoiding responsibility
- Emotional instability; over-reacting, arguing with management and other employers, and other emotional outbursts
- Deteriorating health, problems focusing, constantly tired, high irritability
Limit Stress, Improve Productivity
In 2010, insurance providers at Aetnafound employee stress was costing them up to $2,000 annually per employee. After implementing initiatives to promote yoga and meditation, Aetna saw a 7% decrease in their employee health benefit costs. Employees are now healthier, resulting in increased productivity and work satisfaction.
Offering programs such as these are slowly become the norm. However, there are several alternatives. Some companies have invested in company retreat programs. Others have offered incentive programs to encourage healthy living and discourage tobacco use.
Changing The Office Environment
There are also internal changes that can reduce stress before it begins. Whether you choose to offer rewards, mentorship programs, or implementing flexible or collaborative scheduling, slightly altering business operations can make a huge change.
When employee stress level reaches dangerous levels, it can be detrimental. This stress can arise from a combination of work and life conditions. Regardless of its origins, it negatively impacts the employee and the business. Look out for your employees and your bottom line will improve.