Is putting pressure on your employees going to hurt your company in the long run?

Are you aware of some of the stresses you are putting on your employees at work? Some organizations may believe that putting pressure on their employees to perform better and faster will be beneficial, but it has been found that is hardly the case. According to Bio Med Central, job related stress has a positive correlation with increased usage of health care services. Research completed by The American Psychological Association estimates “more than $500 billion is siphoned off from the U.S. economy because of workplace stress, and 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress on the job”. Employers need to be aware that creating a stressful work environment can, and will, cost the company in the long run. There are additional costs that can be felt in the workplace, including, disengagement and lack of loyalty from employees.

Disengagement can steam from an intensely stressful work environment over time. In the beginning, a culture built upon fear may ensure engagement, but it has been proven to wear down employees. Studies have found disengaged workers have a 37% higher absentee rate, have 49% more work related accidents, and have 60% more errors.

High stress environments can also produce lack of loyalty from employees. The cost of employee turnover is extremely high, costing businesses approximately 20% of that employee’s salary.

As a leader, you can help create and maintain a positive, low stress environment for your employees by:

  1. Creating connections with your employees. It was found through research by Sarah Pressman at the University of California, Irvine, that positive work environments at work help people get sick less often, recover faster, experience less depression, learn more quickly, and perform their job better. It was also found that those with poor social relationships have a 70% higher probability of dying early.
  2. Show empathy towards your employees. As a leader, know you have a huge impact on how your employees feel at work. An un-empathic boss, was found through a brain image study, to activate areas of the brain associated with avoidance and negativity.  
  3. Help your employees. Studies through New York University Stern School of Business have shown when leaders are fair and go out of their way, their employees are influenced to become more loyal and committed. This cycle goes full circle when that employee is helpful towards another employee or customer.
  4. Be the leader that your employees can come to about their problems. Having a leader they trust has been shown to improve employee performance, and conditions employees that it is okay to ask for help.

Ultimately, a positive, low stress work environment is what your employees, and your company need to be successful. A positive business is more likely to flourish financially, in productivity, and in customer satisfaction, as well as attract exceptional new talent.

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