It saddens me, when we still hear stories of how employees feel hopeless and helpless to change negative situations and the stress of it all ends up having a good employee leave.
A good friend of mine, who has worked for years in a large company, has just this sort of story. She had been promoted over the years, rewarded for her achievements and was a solid employee. In the midst of many changes she was given a new department that needed a lot of help restructuring. She worked hard. She worked many hours of overtime, with little progress and the results were devastating for her health.
What could have been different? Her supervisors should have seen that the new role was unrealistic for one person to handle. (She was determined to make this work – she had succeeded before and she was going to do everything she could to make this new department successful. Complaining wasn’t an option) They should have noticed the excessive overtime. (She figured that if she worked harder, took over some of the others duties that eventually it would all work out.) They should have noticed the impact it was having on her health. (When a good employee starts to show signs of wearing down, there needs to be a check in.) They should have worked with her before she felt that she had no choice but to leave. (She felt that she had failed.)
We know that engaged employees help our companies to be more creative, productive and successful. Disengaged or stressed out employees cost our companies in job turnover, disability and lowered productivity. Yet, some employers still look at employees as being a commodity – that you push them to their limits, burn them out and discard them for the next person standing in line. It is easier to get new employees than to fix the things that are wrong within the system.
Research shows that wellness programs have a significant return on investment and in times where many companies are struggling to survive, a healthy workplace may mean the difference between succeeding and going under. Taking strides to ensure that your teams work in a healthy environment is not only good for the company, it is the right thing to do for your employees and for the community at large.
Beverly’s Hot Tip For Celebrating Healthy Workplace Month:
- Start a conversation. What are the sources of stress within your teams- personally and professionally? If you are not sure – ASK! What impact is it having? What are the symptoms that you see in your employees and in the company?
- Benchmark this information. How much is this costing in absenteeism, turnover, lowered productivity, healthcare costs…?
- Decide what programs would help reduce this impact on the individual and the company? (Not sure – sign up for Beverly’s Path To Wellness E-Brief which focuses on Workplace Wellness)
- Get support. Bring together management and employees to talk about strategies. Start small – go for the biggest bang for your buck.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use the resources that are available to you. Look for on-line resources (remember the ezine). Talk to others who have tried similar things before. Bring in someone (like Beverly) to help talk it through.
- Get involved in all of the programs that your company has to offer. You never know what you will learn or how it could positively impact your life or the life of those around you.
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!