Heart Health Month: The Role of Workplace Stress

PRA acknowledges healthy heart month each year and focuses on heart health yearlong. Staff members participate in National Wear Red Day, which was Friday, February 7 this year. In 2019, we were once again a silver-level organization in the American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index, recognized for our steps to build a culture of health in the workplace. We understand that workplace stress has an impact on employees and can have an effect on both their physical and mental health.

For more about the role of workplace stress, we are delighted to present a guest blog from our friends at the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA).

Eliminating Workplace Stress Is Good Business Sense

Eliminating stress at work isn’t feasible, but that doesn’t mean companies shouldn’t invest in stress management. Below, we cover why stress management is so important in the workplace and how it will benefit your organization.

The Effects of Stress on Employees

Stress can result in irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, and insomnia. Since February is Heart Month, it’s also important to note that stress can also lead to an increased risk of heart disease. These are only some of the possible effects! If employees experience any of these symptoms, it’s easy to imagine the impact on your business. These are things that end up costing a business in the long run.

The Effects of Stress on an Organization

As highlighted in an article by Farleigh Dickinson University, the work impact that the symptoms of stress can result in include:

  • More missed days
  • Lower productivity
  • Higher staff turnover
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Other stress-related medical expenses

It’s clear that the relationship between stress and job performance is not a positive one. If stress becomes an issue and a business starts to experience the issues mentioned above, it can even make it hard to acquire new talent. With websites like Glassdoor.com, where employees can anonymously review their employer, word can quickly spread about an unhealthy work environment, and it can become a challenge to attract top talent. Ultimately, this results in lost revenue for a business.

Causes of Stress in the Workplace

If you feel like stress is affecting job performance, it’s a good idea to start digging into what is causing work-related stress. Some common causes of stress include:

  • Poor company culture
  • Long hours and excessive workload
  • Job security worries
  • Poor management, both in terms of under- and over-managing
  • Lack of communication/transparency about business changes
  • Workplace harassment

If you recognize any of these as issues within your organization, now’s the time to start identifying ways to reduce stress at work for employees.

Advantages of Stress Management in the Workplace

The benefits of a low-stress work environment are:

  • Strong company culture
  • Fewer sick days
  • Employee retention and talent acquisition

How Can Employers Reduce Stress in the Workplace?

Here are a few stress management techniques that can work for your business:

  • Address known issues
  • Training programs
  • Wellness programs and initiatives

Stress Management Resources

Often, stress isn’t a company-wide issue, but there will always be individuals experiencing high levels of stress. One way to help individuals in need is to provide them with resources to better handle their stress to get through those times, such as:

Stress Management for Employees is Critical to Your Organization’s Success

Stress can’t be entirely eliminated, and a healthy amount leads to productivity and creativity. But when employees become overly stressed, it takes a toll on the overall health of the company. Visit the WELCOA website for the resources listed above. You can also find additional tools and resources that may help ensure you have happy, healthy, and thriving employees from WELCOA’s site and PRA’s Well-Being Resources

WELCOA is the nation’s most respected non-profit resource for building high-performing workplaces. Located in Omaha, Nebraska, WELCOA has a 30-year history serving a wellness community of over 30,000 across the world.

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