2013/2014 Staying@Work Survey from Towers Watson indicates that stress is still the number one lifestyle risk and that employers and employees couldn’t be any farther apart when reporting the top sources of stress in their workplace.
Employers in Towers Watson’s recent global Staying@Work survey identified stress as the #1 lifestyle risk.
- Top three health risks cited by respondents — stress (83%), lack of physical activity (49%), and obesity (41%).
- Stressed workers incur healthcare costs 50% higher than the norm
- 60% of lost workdays each year can be attributed to stress
- Stress drives and sustains other lifestyle behaviors such as inactivity and poor nutritional choices: Workers with the most severe levels of job stress have a 68% higher risk of developing heart disease, and men who experience “moderate” or “extreme” job stress were twice as likely to smoke as other workers
Differing Views On The Top Causes Of Work Related Stress
#1. Employer: Lack of work-life balance (excessive workloads and/or long hours)
#1. Employee: Inadequate staffing (lack of support, uneven workload or performance in group). ** This was almost universal as the #1 source of stress according to the employees surveyed.
#2. Employer: Inadequate staffing (lack of support, uneven workload or performance in group) –
- Globally: Low pay or low increases in pay
- Canada: Unclear or conflicting job expectations
#3. Employer: Technologies that expand availability during nonworking hours
- Globally: Unclear or conflicting job expectations
- Canada: Organizational culture including lack of team work
#4. Employer: Unclear or conflicting job expectations
- Globally: Organizational culture, including lack of teamwork, tendency to avoid
- accountability and assign blame to others
- Canada: Lack of work-life balance (excessive workloads and/or long hours)
#5. Employer: Fears about job loss, too much change
- Globally: Lack of work-life balance (excessive workloads and/or long hours)
- Canada: Low pay or low increases in pay
Employers need to address the disconnect in perceptions around workplace stressors.
Leaders need to address the main sources of stress for their employees and this can only be done if they have been clearly identified for your particular workplace. It is good to know globally what the sources of stress may be so that you can ask the right questions, but until you have talked to your employees or surveyed them for their opinions, you may be addressing the wrong issues.
The programs that you implement should address the sources of stress at the corporate level and promote skills and resiliency at the individual level. Ensure that the right strategies are considered for your unique situation, and that you don’t get caught in the ‘flavour-of-the-day strategy’ that may or may not be helpful in addressing your particular environment.
Using the S-O-S PlanTM will help you and your team reduce the negative impact of stress and cope with your sources of stress: 3 simple questions can point you and your team in the right direction:
- What am I going to do about my stressful situation?
- How am I going to take care of myself during these stressful times?
- Who is there to support me during these difficult times?
By specifically addressing your challenges and stresses, by utilizing strategies to maintain your health during stressful times, and by building a supportive network, you can find the right tools for coping with the situations that you face.
Towers Watson 2013/2014 Staying@Work Survey
Current Health Promotion Offerings
- 45% offer health risk assessments
- Close to 40% offer biometric screenings
- 80% offer vaccination programs
- 65% offer web-based health information tools
- 11% have expanded access to on-site health services (such as a physician or dietitian)
- 20% are offering additional access to behavioural health services through virtual sessions
- 18% are promoting the use of mobile applications to complement health promotion programs
Let us know about your health promotion activities…Fill out our 2014 Employee Wellness Survey. Click here to take survey
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!