Help Your Employees Reduce Workplace Stress to Reduce Overall Employee Turnover

Actual Comments on Why Employees Leave:

“It was an unattainable standard. Lower level management has so much on their plate that there is no possible way to get it all done, let alone do everything correctly. The job stressed me out and frustrated me so badly that it really took its toll on my attitude, health and my relationships outside of work.”

The Solution

What is stress? Human stress is often caused by the relationship between individuals and the environment that is perceived as straining or can also be a result of an individual exceeding their adaptive capacities and resources therefore threatening their wellbeing. When humans encounter stress the body kicks into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as stress response. This is the body’s way of protecting individuals by helping them stay focused, energetic and alert. Beyond a certain point, though, stress stops being helpful and starts impacting mental and psychological abilities, metabolism, immune response and physical systems. Studies have shown that stress-related health problems cost employers billions of dollars associated with work accidents, absenteeism, turnover, and healthcare costs. The American Institute of Stress estimates the annual cost to be $300 billion. This number could be much lower if more companies introduced programs to help reduce workplace stress.

It is interesting to note that in today’s competitive global work environment, American workers are on the job one month more per year than workers were a decade ago. This in and of itself causes employees stress, but there are other reasons for workplace stress including lack of communications, employees feeling they do not have control over things that affect them in their jobs, no appreciation and constant interruptions, just to mention a few.

What can employers do to help reduce workplace stress? Below are a few thoughts.

• Give employees as much control over their jobs as possible by empowering them to make job-related decisions, allowing flexibility in organizing their work in ways they find optimal, and giving them the authority to make improvements on how their job is done.

• Communicate clearly and often about things that are important to employees. One of the biggest sources of stress for employees is not knowing what is expected of them, what are the priorities, what is their performance against expectations, how is the company performing, are there changes going on in the company.

• Make sure employees have the resources and training to do their jobs well. Without this support, employees are set up to fail and they will be stressed out every day on the job.

• Be available to your employees to enable ongoing communication. Periodic one-on-one meetings are the best format for providing two-way communications.

• Give serious consideration to including work-life integration as part of your organization’s total rewards strategy to help reduce workplace stress among employees. Work-life integration is a set of organizational practices, policies and programs along with a philosophy that actively supports efforts to help employees achieve success within and outside the workplace. Work-life is at the heart of talent acquisition and management – attraction, retention, maximum employee motivation and engagement.

Putting plans in place to help your employees reduce workplace stress could be beneficial to retaining employees and ultimately your bottom line. HSD Metrics can help you monitor these efforts by providing exit interviews and turnover HR metrics, allowing you the ability to measure how many people are leaving the company due to stress.

(This blog post brought to you by HSD Metrics, an exit interview company that helps companies reduce employee turnover by providing automated reference checking, exit interviews, and by measuring employee retention. The comments from exiting employees that are featured in this blog are collected from actual exit interviews conducted using ExitRight®, HSD’s exit interviewing service. Because we place the privacy of our clients at the top of our priority list; the names of all involved parties are kept completely confidential. Check our blog often for posts like this, to reduce employee turnover within your organization. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today.)