The Rising Importance of Stress Awareness

It’s not stress that kills us; it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Known as “the father of stress research,” Hans Selye is credited with being the first to confirm the connection between stress and a wide range of negative health conditions. April is Stress Awareness Month, a good time to remember that workplace stress has emerged as a real issue at every step up and down the corporate ladder.

Job stress is estimated to cost American companies more than $300 billion year in health costs, absenteeism, and poor performance. In addition, consider these sobering statistics:

  • 40% of job turnover is due to stress.
  • Healthcare costs are nearly 50% greater for workers who report high stress levels.
  • Job stress is the source of more health complaints than financial or family problems.
  • Replacing an average employee costs 120-200 percent of the salary of the position affected.
  • The average cost of absenteeism in a large company is more than $3.6 million a year.
  • Depression is the largest single predictor of absenteeism and work-related performance.
  • For every 47 cents spent on treating depression, another 53 cents are indirectly spent on absenteeism, presenteeism, and disability.

As we strive to excel and meet the demands of our professional roles, it’s crucial to acknowledge and address the impact that stress can have on our well-being and productivity. Learning to recognize stressful situations as they arise and to creatively channel that stress will produce more positive outcomes.

As Hans Selye confirmed, stress not only affects our mental and emotional health but also seeps into our physical well-being, leading to burnout, decreased morale, and ultimately hindering our ability to perform at our best. It’s imperative that we build cultures that promote mental wellness and foster mutual support in navigating day-to-day pressures and challenges. FocusWorks is here to help you do that.

Here are a few things to consider as you work toward reducing work-related stress in your organization.

  • Open Communication: Create an environment where people feel comfortable discussing stressors and seek support when needed. Open communication channels lead to constructive solutions.
  • Work-Life Balance: Balancing professional responsibilities with personal well-being is essential. Take breaks, unplug after work hours, and use that vacation time to recharge.
  • Mindfulness and Self-Care: Incorporating mindfulness practices and self-care routines into our daily lives can alleviate stress. Whether it’s meditation, exercise, or hobbies outside of work, prioritizing activities that nourish our minds and bodies is crucial.
  • Setting Boundaries: Learning to say no when our plate is full and setting realistic expectations for ourselves and others can lower stress levels.
  • Seeking Support: If stress becomes overwhelming, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Many organizations offer employee assistance programs (EAPs) or access to mental health resources.

At FocusWorks, we specialize in helping companies and organizations create a psychologically safe work culture built on a foundation of mutual understanding and respect. Helping us in this important process are two key tools/programs:   

  • Ntrinsx isan online assessment and social intelligence data management system that helps people understand the intrinsic strengths of their character and recognize and appreciate the strengths of others.  
  • Women Excel in Life and Leadership (WELL) Programis a transformative and introspective learning experience focused on individual growth. Participants gain a profound understanding of their leadership identity, learn to cultivate balance to succeed in both personal and professional realms, and receive ongoing support to navigate their future journey with confidence.

Employees walk away from either tool and/or program with a new view of themselves and their fellow team members. In the face of rising work-related stress issues, a robust company culture is becoming more vital to the success of its employees and organization. FocusWorks is ready to work with you to build a low-stress workplace driven by a truly sympathetic, synergistic team.