When workers are constantly stressed out, they may struggle to be productive, or churn out work that misses the mark. The signs that come with stress, such as low energy, bodily pain, and mental exhaustion, prevent the effectiveness of employees at work.
The cost of this burnout is huge for employers. About $543 million is paid in employee compensation for mental health-related issues annually and about 7,200 workers are compensated for work-related mental health conditions every year. That’s approximately 6% of workers’ compensation claims.
These facts indicate that there’s an incentive for companies to reduce workplace stress where they can. But workplace stress is not a one-size-fits all solution. Companies must look into their specific internal systems and processes to identify aspects of their operations that expose their workers to excessive stress.
Uprise is a proactive Employee Assistance Program that has the most comprehensive and holistic reporting of any workplace EAP. Reporting on causes of workplace stress allow companies to identify problem areas that may need adjustments or communication initiatives.
Only some Employee Assistance Programs Report on Causes of Stress
Traditional EAPs heavily rely on face-to-face sessions with a counsellor. As a result, they very often attend to people with advanced stages of stress or even cases that have deteriorated into a full-blown mental health crisis. They may be effective at treating these sorts of instances, but they do not measure the stressors that caused them in the first place. This system fails to predict and prevent the crisis from happening again.
Uprise is an EAP that takes a more proactive approach. It does measure individual workers’ stress situation and reports on the stressors that have triggered or sustained their negative mental states. The reporting is the most comprehensive of any employee assistance program, allowing clients to track their impact over time in a more concrete way.
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Data from organisations using Uprise indicates that there were three major work-related factors causing stress among their employees. About 32% of them said they were stressed because they didn’t find their current job engaging; 31% attributed their stress issues to their being overloaded with work, and about 24% said their frustration with a colleague at work was to blame in their case.
Users supply information on workplace stressors by answering the question, “which of the following have impacted your ability to work effectively?” It’s one of a number of self-evaluation questions users can answer on the program’s digital platform.
Beyond measuring stressors, Uprise also gives its users insights into what they can do to reduce the stress they experience at work. It offers coaching and resilience training that is accessible on a range of digital devices and delivers progress indicators on the mental wellbeing of its users.
Read on to learn more about the most common causes of stress that Uprise identified with our clients in 2018.
Image: Andreea Vlad
What are the Most Common Workplace Stressors?
Uprise measures and reports on the most common workplace stressors every quarter.
Some common stress-inducers in work settings include:
In 2018, 31% of Uprise users reported that being overloaded with work impacted their ability to work effectively.
Employees may succumb to stress if they always have to deliver on demanding projects within tight timeframes, or if they lack the right resources to get work done. A mismatch between worker’s competencies and the job they are expected to do may also lead to stress.
Employers can attempt to make work demands more mentally healthy by asking employees for their input on the timing and pace of their work. It is also vital to communicate when there is a tight deadline why that is the case and ensure they have adequate resources to complete it on time.
Safework NSW released a Work Demands Tip Sheet that details how to improve employee experience with time pressures and other work demands.
Frictions in Workplace Relationships
In 2018, 24% of Uprise users reported that frustration with a colleague/colleagues impacted their ability to work effectively.
Often, workplace conflicts will take up the attention of the workers involved and negatively impact their mental state. Employers typically try to solve this problem by implementing psychological safety systems to improve team cohesion.
Improving team cohesion is a very important to improve proactively before conflict occurs. Uprise EAP offers capability building and skills training to improve interpersonal relationships and communication. In 2018, Uprise users reported their team cohesion had improved by 10%.
For when teams have already experienced an altercation, managers can refer to ACAS Managing Conflict at Work Guide.
Dissatisfaction with a Current Job role
In 2018, the most common workplace stressor that impacted employees ability to work effectively was not feeling engaged or interested in their current project.
This stressor is common when employees feel they do not have autonomy and freedom in their role. When employees feel this way, it is important for leaders and managers to find ways that will improve engagement. Employees who are disengaged are more likely to leave the company.
By sharing this information with you, Uprise EAP allows you to identify which employees may be at risk for turnover. In 2018, employees using Uprise who were at imminent or very high risk for turnover reduced by 14%.
Measuring and Remedying Stressors
A proactive approach to combating workplace stress begins with measuring the causes of stress in individuals.
But it’s not always immediately apparent what the actual stressors are in particular cases. Sometimes, the causes will only be identified by interviewing the stressed person and reviewing their working environment.
Employers will want their staff physically and mentally fit enough to deal with the tasks assigned to them. They will also want to help their employees stay healthy where it’s within their rights to do so. A proactive EAP covers this need to a reasonable degree by providing information on stress and stressors at the earliest possible stage so that they can be dealt with before they cause greater psychological harm.
Uprise is a preventative employee assistance program (EAP) provider that improves employee engagement, retention and performance by enhancing psychological wellbeing. Learn more about how our program solves employee stress.
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