Did you know your job may be killing you? Maybe not literally killing you, but stress in the workplace can have all sorts of unwanted effects on all our lives including sleep disturbances, high blood pressure, headaches, stomach problems and even cardiovascular disease. The effect of workplace stress is very real—a study by Harvard University found that nearly 120,000 deaths annually are attributed to workplace stress. Billions of dollars are spent on healthcare each year as a result of stress in the workplace. As an agency manager/owner, it is in the best interest of you and your employees to take the initiative in reducing workplace stress.

What are the stressors?

There are many stress factors that contribute to an employee’s stress level in the workplace including unfavorable working conditions an uncomfortable seating arrangement which places stress on the back/spine, unreasonable workloads/expectations from supervisors, or a lack of workload, which can in turn lead an employee to feel unproductive and undervalued. Organizational structure can also be an issue if roles and job duties are not clearly defined. All employees need to feel they are of value and highly regarded by the organization.

What can be done to combat workplace stress?

In addition to encouraging employees to receive annual wellness examinations to resolve any health-related issues, agency owners can hold individual/group discussions and identify stress-related problems in the workplace. Have an open-door policy where problems can be discussed without fear of retribution for speaking up about unfavorable working conditions.

However, it is not enough to identify stress factors in the workplace; it is just the first step. Institute a plan of action to address needed changes. Reducing stress in the workplace will ultimately be beneficial to you as an agency owner. You will have a more energetic workforce and cut down on employee absenteeism. Remember, happy workers are productive workers.