What stressed employees are costing your business

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What stressed employees are costing your business


How often do you hear someone say “I’m stressed”?  It’s become quite normal to feel stressed at certain points of our day, with a variety of people and responsibilities vying for our attention.  But what about stress in the workplace, is that normal too?  It often feels that a certain amount of stress at work is expected.  If employees have no deadlines to meet or no challenges to stimulate them, they can become bored and disinterested in their work.  However, it is important to distinguish between a healthy amount of workplace pressure and a debilitating amount.


Workplace stress is widely thought to cost the UK economy around £6.5 billion per year and whatever size your business is, employee stress will have adverse consequences on your productivity.  It can also influence a company’s reputation as an employer.  A business with a constant turnover of staff or bad publicity in terms of the stress staff are subjected to, is not likely to attract the best talent.  As well as the financial cost of paying sick leave and possibly taking on extra staff to cover the workload, there are the long-term effects on the employee’s mental health of prolonged workplace stress.    Also, if an employee’s mental health suffers as a direct result of the pressure that they have been put under at work, they may pursue a claim against their employers for compensation.


Even if an employee is not absent from work, their standard of work can be greatly affected if they are put under too much pressure.  Their behaviour towards their fellow workers might also be affected causing them to carry out bullying behaviour, due to the pressure they are under themselves.  This in turn can lead to other employees becoming stressed and ill due to their conduct and an environment of harassment and bullying might become prevalent within the workplace.


Whilst most companies will realise the importance of a productive, happy workforce, the pressures of creating sales, achieving targets and outperforming competitors can tend to push issues such as employee welfare down the list of priorities.  However, as well as the moral responsibility that a business has towards their employees, ensuring that they do not become ill due to stress, reducing workplace stress can ensure a business can perform more efficiently.  When staff feel that they are valued and measures are put into place to safeguard their wellbeing, they are more likely to perform better and take less sick days.  The consequence of a constant workforce means less recruitment and training, which in turns means a more stable financial position and a happier place to work.