HR News & Trends, Talent Management

Would You be Surprised to Find That Employees Are REALLY Stressed Out?

From 123RF Stock Photos

A recent survey by ManpowerGroup’s own Right Management indicates that nearly two-thirds of employees are realllllllly stressed @ work.

Employees across the U.S. and Canada were asked:

How would you describe the stress level in your work environment?

A whopping 64 percent said “High” — more than five times the number that said “Low” (11 percent). Only 24 percent rated their stress level at “Medium.”

Those findings echo lots of other recent data:

  • Employees report feeling more miserable than ever before.
  • Job pressure is the #1 cause of stress in the U.S.
  • 80 percent of medical expenses are now stress-related.
  • 77 percent of us regularly experience physical problems caused by stress.
  • 48 percent of us lie awake at night due to stress.
  • 40 percent of us are sleep-deprived.
  • 35 percent have been bullied at work.
  • One out of 25 bosses is a certified psychopath.

Experts estimate that we lose $200-$300 billion lost each year due to stress-related absenteeism, burnout, decreased productivity, workers’ compensation claims, turnover and insurance costs.

What can employers do?

Besides firing all certified psychopaths (after complying with any and all requirements of the ADA, of course), here are some helpful tips from Right Management:

  • Hold regular work review meetings to clarify priorities and deadlines.
  • Be open and authentic when sharing company performance info.
  • Clarify for each employee their role in making the organization successful.
  • Foster flexible working practices to help employees juggle work and life pressures.

Once again, as we say approximately every 0.3 seconds here on the Blawg, it all comes down to showing your employees some LOVE. Click here for some practical ways to do exactly that, according to our Employment Blawg readers.

This was originally published on ManpowerGroup’s Employment Blawg.

Mark Toth has served as Manpower Group North America's Chief Legal Officer since 2000. He also serves on the company’s Global Leadership Team, Global Legal Lead Team and North American Lead Team. Mark is recognized as an expert on legal issues affecting the U.S. workplace and is frequently quoted in media from The Wall Street Journal to 60 Minutes. He is also a past Chair of the American Staffing Association and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. Contact him at mark.toth@manpowergroup.com.
  • Mluttinger

    Mark, I would be even more interested in this article if I were able to further slice and dice.
    I would like to see the responses by age groups and then gender and education within age groups.  I know there is stress out there but to be useful to managers and employers it’s important to do more thinking.  Here is why I say so.

    I recall that as a kid if I said “the teacher yelled at me at school” – they in fact YELLED. I mean loud – no ‘indoor nice voice’.  I noticed that when my children were in school, they and their friends would refer to ‘the teacher yelled’ and when I probed a tad I realized ‘yelled’ just meant they were spoken to directly in a more aggressive or assertive tone than the kid was used to or liked.  There was no real ‘yelling’ at all.

    I take this lesson to all the reports of ‘stress’ …is there more stress or have we come to regard any pressure as stress?  What do people think stress is?  What is the measurement for whether stress is high, medium or low?  What are people ‘reporting’ here and have we calibrated here at all?  Tolerance levels are all over the map.

    I wonder if we have subliminally and/or unconsciously planted seeds in the minds of many through well intended articles and seminars on stress, truly needed by some, that any pressure or requirement or expectation or deadline imposed is a stress producer for which the answer is chemical, therapy sessions or seminars. 

    Just a thought….and hopefully not a stress producing one.