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Most employees report high workplace stress

Nearly two-thirds of employees rate the stress level in their workplace as high, according to a survey of more than 450 North American employees by Right Management.

Asked how to describe the stress level in their work environment, 64% said it was high, while 24% rated it as medium. Just 11% said they find the stress level in their workplace to be low.

“When asked, employees will usually say their job or workplace is stressful,” comments Michael Haid, senior vice-president of talent management with Right Management. “After all, we’re talking about work, not play, so we shouldn’t be surprised if there’s high energy or intensity on the job. In fact, one has to wonder about the 11% of workplaces that seem to have low stress.”

Nevertheless, according to Haid, the percentages suggest that workplace stress is at an unusually high level. “It would be foolhardy for management to dismiss employees’ complaints, because a perception of stress impairs engagement, and that is a core issue that impacts productivity and the bottom line.”

Haid points to ongoing economic volatility, and the staffing cutbacks and weak job market that go along with that, as the key trigger for the stress. He recommends four tips for managers to help employees to manage their stress levels.

• Hold regular work review meetings to clarify priorities and deadlines.
• Be open and authentic when sharing company performance information.
• Clarify for each individual employee his or her role in making the organization successful.
• Foster flexible working practices to help employees juggle work and life pressures.

This article was originally published in Benefits Canada.

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