Work-related Stress Costs the U.S. $300 Billion
Payroll, overhead and rent often come to mind when discussing the cost of conducting everyday business. Expensive? Yes. Necessary? Of course. And yet we often forget to include indirect costs into that mix. For example, the cost that comes along with investing in your workforce.
But, what happens when your workforce is too engaged and worked too hard? You can easily end up causing work-related stress – an expensive, overlooked cost. Facing stress and psychological risks can viewed as too costly or unimportant, but it costs more to ignore them.
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) recently released a report on the high cost of work-related stress titled, “Calculating the Cost of Work-related Stress and Psychosocial Risks.” The EU-OSHA defines work-related stress as “when the demands of the work environment exceed the workers’ ability to cope with (or control) them.” According to the report, work-related stress leads to increased absenteeism, high turnover rates and decreased productivity and performance. Together, these stress-related factors are estimated to cost the United States economy as much as $300 billion annually.
The study reviewed the cost-benefit impact of employer-driven stress reduction interventions. Though individual results varied, early intervention was shown to reduce the prevalence of stress-related problems and ultimately result in employer savings. Listed below are a few strategies you can implement for stress management and reduction:
- Establish an employee recognition program for rewarding good work performance
- Provide opportunities for career development
- Promote an organizational culture that values the individual worker
- Ensure management actions are consistent with organizational values
- Provide stress management training and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- Look for ways to improve working conditions
At Assurance, we’ve already incorporated few of these strategies with our High-Five recognition program and a number of different employee benefits. A few simple tweaks will get you started in the right direction: Make your employees happy and save your bottom line all at once – It’s like that metaphor about a bird and stone.
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