A high amount of stress and pressure can push employees to work hard, and produce great results. But ultimately, we may be forcing employees to make sacrifices that affect the whole of the company. Success can be bred without high amounts of stress and cut-throat competition. Positive work cultures encourage employees to work their best without the stress of failure and disappointment.
Research shows that when employees work under large amount of stress, their health is negatively affected. High-pressure companies spend almost 50% more on health care expenditures than others. Stress associated with the workplace contributes to health problems like metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. It’s estimated that 60-80% of workplace accidents are due to stress, and nearly 80% of doctors visits are because of stress. The basic hierarchies we establish within our organizations also contribute to stress. Studies show that an employee’s designation within a hierarchy contributes to health. If your rank is lower, you are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and die from a heart attack. Researchers at the Karolinska Institute studied more than 3,000 employees and demonstrated an undeniable link between leadership behavior and heart disease in their employees. Your stressful boss is literally bad for your heart and health.
In addition to the health costs, you could be cutting employee engagement. High stress environments of fear and intense competition can keep employees engaged for some time. Valuable engagement, the sense of being appreciated, supported and respected is frowned upon in high-stress cut-throat cultures. Research of these environments suggests that engagement within these environments is short-lived and the constant stress spawns disengagement over time. Disengagement will not only create negative attitudes, but it will also cost your company in other ways. Disengaged employees experienced 49% more accidents, 60% errors and defects and had 37% higher absenteeism than others.
A high amount of stress can also cost you loyalty. A study by the American Institute of Stress demonstrated that stress in the workplace contributes to an increase in voluntary turnover of nearly 50%. Your employees will decline promotions and join the job market to seek a more enjoyable environment. Loss of employees and expertise, low productivity is then added to the cost of recruiting and training new employees. While benefits like work from home days and office gyms can reconcile some disengagement, employees prefer workplace wellbeing over these aforementioned perks.
Your key to maintaining happy and engaged employees is cultivating a positive work culture. Show your employees they are valued and cared for. Offer them support, compassion and kindness. They will see their value when their work is appreciated and respected. Your employees are your greatest resource.
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