Why are workers stressed?

The economy


Demands of the job


Distrust in corporate America


Fear of layoff


Source:  Cigna Behavioral Health survey of 750

employees and 200 employers nationwide.  


What is the impact of job stress on a business?


Take sick day


Thought about quitting the job


Quit the job


Source:  Northwestern Life Insurance Company (1992)

survey of American workers

·         One million workers are absent on any given day largely

   due to stress disorders (Rosch & Pelletier, 1984).

·         Stress on the job costs businesses over $150B per year

   (Donatelle and Hawkins, 1989)


Where do the non-stressed workers work?

                                 For companies that:

Offer flexible work schedules


Offer work/life balance programs


Promote volunteerism


Provide physical health programs


Source:  Cigna


What can management do to reduce stress?


Assess the level of stress in your organization.  Quantify these performance measures:

«     Productivity

«     Accident claims

«     Staff turnover rates

«     Level of absenteeism

«     Reasons for leaving company

Implement a stress management program?

«     Promote individual coping skills to deal with stressful situations

«     Assessments

«     Practice in various stress management techniques

«     Sponsor skill development to increase performance & personal effectiveness

Improve your company’s culture to ensure:

«     Employees:

ţ                Have control in their jobs

ţ               Are competent (trained) to perform their jobs

ţ               Understand the organization’s goals and how their jobs fit into achieving these goals

ţ               Find their jobs meaningful

«     Management and employees communicate

«     Support is available to resolve problems


Stress management workshops from Bradley Lambert?


Skills that insulate against stress:

Stress Management Workshops


«     Ethics

«     Coaching

«     Brainstorming

«     Problem Solving

«     Time Management

«     Work Environment

«     Stress Management


What is stress?


«     Stress refers to the ways our bodies react to a threat -- commonly called the fight or flight response.  The brain signals certain glands to secrete into the bloodstream hormones that prime the lungs, heart, nervous system and muscles to take quick action, run away or fight.

«     Prolonged stress can damage brain cells, eventually causing memory loss... impair the immune system... and contribute to depression, ulcers, colitis and other diseases. 

«     Stress is the way we react physically, mentally, and emotionally to the various conditions, changes, and demands of life.





What are the signs of stress?


«     Illness

«     Driving fast

«     Sleeplessness

«     Grinding  teeth

«     Drinking alcohol

«     Criticizing yourself

«     Constantly on  edge

«     Employee performance

«     Avoiding social contact

«     Chewing your fingernails

«     Smoking or chewing tobacco

«     Becoming aggressive or violent

«     Yelling at your spouse, children, or friends

«     Taking a recreational drug to calm yourself

«     Eating too much or too little, or drinking a lot of coffee



What are 10 things you as an employee can do to reduce stress?



«     Have a strong commitment to self, work, family, and other values. 

«     See change as a challenge rather than a threat. Change is inevitable.

«     Participate in activities that promote creativity and your own uniqueness.  Schedule a regular time for whatever relaxation method works best for you -- slow, deep breathing... physical exercise... yoga... meditation.

«     Manage your time and commitments and learn to say no – don’t take on more than you can handle?  Practice delegating.

«     Make stress management part of your daily routine -- don’t save it for the weekends.  Attend stress management workshops.  Utilize techniques such as problem solving and brainstorming to identify all aspects of a stressful event, including behavior, thoughts, and feelings.

«     Listen.  When people feel they are being heard, their stress levels fall and cooperation is more forthcoming.

«     Have a sense of control over your life.

«     Have a strong network of support and close relationships. Believing you are alone in the world makes the effects of everyday stress much worse.

«     Identify stressful sources in your life.  Create a journal to help you recognize how stress affects you, understand how to avoid harmful stress, and know how you can deal with it when it occurs.

«     Work with a personal coach (sometimes called an executive coach) who specializes in helping people identify and address problems (personally or at work) that are holding them back at work.