Stress is often considered to be a very negative aspect of our lives, as it can directly affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behaviour. Stress can be defined as a reaction to a situation or to a perceived threat, and it’s not difficult to determine that stressful situations often arise in the workplace. According to Statistics Canada, work is the leading cause of stress for Canadians, as employees often feel stressed when they experience a lack of control in the workplace, or are unable to meet the demands of the job.
Of course, there is no single cause of stress in the workplace, as we are faced with new tasks and challenges on a daily basis. For example, employers may experience stress when faced with performance demands, such as ensuring that their employees are capable of completing their workplace tasks. In a situation like this, Precede Occupational Health Services is able to help by providing employers with medical fit to work testing, which determines whether an employee is suitable for the job. For more information on Precede’s medical fit to work testing and its importance, please click here.
For employees, there are some specific job stressors that have been identified, such as having too much or too little of a workload, experiencing a lack of trust towards co-workers or employers, or having little to no recognition for good job performance. All of these factors can create many negative effects for an employee, with some of the most significant effects being poor time management, an overall lack of focus, strained relationships in the workplace, and an effect on sleep or blood pressure.
So, what can be done about workplace stress? What a lot of employers don’t realize is that they have the power to reduce some of the stress that their employees feel, starting with small steps that will eventually build up to create a better work environment. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety provides a list of steps that employers can take to address stress in their workplace, with some examples including:
Being aware of the signs and symptoms of stress and when an employee is struggling
Recognizing when employees perform well and providing encouragement when necessary
Providing workplace health and wellness programs that target the source of the stress
Surveying employees to help identify the root cause of the stress.
A 200 Integra Survey discovered that 1 in 5 employees had quit a previous position due to job stress, as well as 1 in 4 employees being driven to tears because of the stress. Acknowledging the wellbeing of your employees helps to create a work environment that is supportive and motivating, which can also lead to increased performance and profit.
As an employee, taking care of yourself is the number one priority. Workplace stress might always be present as we are faced with new challenges every day, but there are ways for employers to help reduce that stress and create a work environment that cares for its employees and strives to do the right thing. Here at Precede, we’re proud to work with all of our clients and customers on ensuring that workplace mental health is a top priority.
To learn more about how Precede Occupational Health Services can help you and your organization, click here.