A new study finds that excessive workplace stress is the third biggest reason why people quit their jobs. The good news for employers is that relieving employee stress is one of the most cost-effective ways for employers to retain good people.
Research firm Randstad wondered what would cause American workers to leave their jobs, so it polled 2,257 of them. They were asked to select three of ten possible factors that might cause them to quit.
Among the top choices were pay (picked by 37% of those polled), an opportunity for advancement (27%) and a high stress level (at 24%).
Age and gender may have a bearing on workers’ tolerance levels for stress. For instance, 27% of women (compared to 22% of men) citing a high stress level as a top reason to leave their current job.
However, Gen Y/Millennial employees (24%) are as likely as boomers (24%) to pick stress as a likely reason they would leave their current jobs.
The good news for employers is that there are several easy (and cheap) ways to relieve workplace stress, and retain good employees. In a release, Ranstad offered the following five tips for employers:
- Communicate often: By effectively communicating with workers, managers can better gauge the stress level of their employees and work to diminish pressure before it affects morale and productivity.
- Encourage camaraderie: Employees who actively connect with one another often create a better office environment. It’s important to set aside time for staff to socialize and get to know one another.
- Promote wellness: Give employees access to wellness programs that help relieve stress; whether it’s a company workout facility or reimbursements for yoga classes, wellness programs are proven strategies to help relieve workplace stress.
- Set an example: Healthy stress management starts at the top; if employees consistently see their boss as being stressed, the negative energy can trickle down and impact the entire team.
- Empower your employees: One of the most stress-inducing triggers is feeling out of control, so allow your staff to take ownership of their work and give them as much control as possible when it comes to making decisions on how work gets done.
These seem like sensible ways to run an organization – and ones that have the added benefit of being much cheaper than simply raising everyone’s pay. The employers who haven’t been to keen to give pay raises in recent years should perhaps take some of Ranstad’s advice.
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