Workplace stress isn’t a new concept. But employers who choose to actively help employees manage stress may see long-term benefits both for their staff’s health and the health of their companies.
Mariposa Center, a wellness and recovery facility in Orange County, has years of experience identifying and helping to manage the negative effects of stress for individuals, families, and organizations. Recent research has confirmed that stress continues to be a major factor in employee performance today.
(H2)What are the Negative Effects of Stress on Employees? (/H2)
According to Gallup’s 2022 State of the Workplace survey, employees’ stress levels are at an all-time high – even higher than they were during the Covid-19 pandemic. The same survey found that most employees are disengaged at work, which can contribute to stress, anger, and health problems.
Stress doesn’t just have harmful effects on employees’ well-being – it affects their performance too. According to the University of Cambridge, the organizational impacts of stressed staff can include:
- High absenteeism and turnover
- Poor performance
- Reduced productivity
- Poor timekeeping
- Low morale
- Lack of motivation
- Increased complaints
- Increased accidents and incident reports
Finally, struggles with stress at work and in one’s personal life may also lead to drug or alcohol abuse to numb those feelings. This behavior can create a dangerous cycle of anxiety, substance use, and addiction.
3 Ways to Help Employees Manage Stress
If your organization is facing challenges related to stress on the job, there are steps that you can take as an employer to help employees manage stress.
1. Incorporate Flexible Scheduling
According to survey data from Atlassian, organizations that create flexibility by allowing team members to work remotely or asynchronously report less burnout and a more positive perception of team culture than those that are perceived to be ‘inflexible.’
2. Encourage the Use of Paid Time Off
For many employees, stress and the pressure to perform are unavoidable aspects of their role. To help those employees manage stress, employers can encourage or even require employees to use the time off that they accrue throughout the year to unplug from work and come back refreshed.
While the long-term effects of a short-term break are debatable, this tactic can be used as a first step toward a company-wide effort to acknowledge and improve employee well-being.
3. Support Employees’ Health and Wellness Efforts
A Society of Human Resources Management survey found that offering mental health resources was a “high priority” for just 32 percent of organizations in 2022, despite the negative impacts that stress continues to have on the workforce at large.
Companies that want to prioritize mental health can support employees in a variety of ways. Depending on your team and budget, tactics can range from offering mental health stipends as part of employees’ benefits packages to partnering with local counseling centers on corporate wellness initiatives.
Mariposa Center’s Methods for Stress Reduction
The Mariposa Center team of counselors and support staff also works closely with businesses and organizations throughout Southern California by leading holistic mental health programs. These programs are designed to reduce stress in the workplace and help employees live balanced, fulfilled lives.
“So many organizations can have a tremendous positive impact on their employees’ well-being by prioritizing mental health. Reducing stress and supporting positive mental health in the workplace is not only good for people’s health, but it’s also good for business.”Megan Mallon, LCSW; Community Counseling Program Director
Therapy can also be a confidential and effective countermeasure for work-related stress. Mariposa Center offers several experience-specific therapy programs for individuals and groups to effectively meet participants’ needs.
Finally, while the idea of speaking to a therapist or in a group setting may be intimidating, many find solace in the knowledge that others are facing the same struggles and have regained their sense of self.