A study in January 2011 by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) which surveyed 2,737 workers found that 18% reported their job was “highly stressful”. There’s so much research coming out on the rising tide of workplace stress that such figures perhaps come as no surprise. But worryingly, from a business perspective, it seems that it’s your key employees who may be at the greatest risk of experiencing high levels of work-related stress.
Senior Scientist and Head of CAMH’s Work and Well-being Research and Evaluation Program, Dr Carolyn Dewa, noted that “The people who report high stress are the ones most invested in their jobs… Employers should be very concerned with keeping this population healthy. From a business perspective, it is in a company’s best interest to support these workers.”
The recent case of Lloyds Banking Group Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio, taking extended leave for stress-related illness at a critical time, is just one high-profile example of what could happen if you don’t take seriously the risk of stress and burnout in high-performers.
What would be the impact on your business of losing any of your key people to stress or even total burnout?
“It is important that employees have access to resources that address their mental health concerns. In the long run, these interventions can help save some of the annual (billions) in lost productivity” said Dewa. “Employers should be asking, ‘What am I doing to reduce stress in my most valuable people?’”
So what are you doing to reduce stress in your most valuable people?
Stress management isn’t just a question of teaching people to relax: it involves looking at the organisational factors which can contribute to stress – how individual’s jobs are structured and organised, for example; how people are managed (managers lacking certain key competencies can be a major cause of stress in their staff); as well as equipping staff to cope better with a high-pressure environment and develop their personal resilience.
Want to find out more about how to manage stress more effectively in your organisation, and enable your people to perform at their best?
Find out more about my training and consultancy services which can help you to reap the rewards of tackling stress and supporting employee wellbeing in your organisation.
The CAMH study was published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Janurary 2011. You can read the full report on the study here