Are young workers more stressed than older counterparts?
Monday, 26 September 2011 16:00Some employers may assume that since an employee is young, they are impervious to workplace stress and less prone to take sick days. However, a Daily Mail article suggests otherwise.
The news source reported on a study conducted by a nutritional supplement company which revealed that 72 percent of employees 30 and younger reported taking a sick day in the previous year, compared to 46 percent of workers older than 55.
Additionally, 86 percent of young staff members said they feel stress at work and 28 percent said they would take a day off because of it, while just 66 percent of older employees reported workplace anxiety and 15 percent said it caused them to take time off.
Previously, an article in The Guardian, another UK news source, reported that younger workers are more likely to develop mental disorders like depression as a result of workplace stress.
These findings suggest that organizations with young staff members should not overlook the benefits that can be gained from employee wellness programs that provide tools and resources for stress management.
Mental health disability appears to be on the rise
Sunday, 25 September 2011 16:00One of the most significant side effects of chronic workplace stress is the mental anguish it can cause some employees, sometimes even leading to clinical depression and disability leaves.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found that the number of people reporting mental health disability climbed by nearly one third during the past few years, compared to rates that were recorded in the late 1990s.
Authors of the study stated that roughly 2.7 percent of non-elderly volunteers said they had taken disability for mental health issues in 2007 through 2009, compared to 2 percent in 1997 through 1999.
"These findings highlight the need for improved access to mental health services in our communities and for better integration of these services with primary care delivery," said lead author Ramin Mojtabai, M.D., Ph.D.
Results of this study suggest that workers may be in need of employee health benefits that include care for mental conditions. Additionally, employee wellness programs that provide tools and resources for stress management have been shown to decrease healthcare expenditures, as well as improve mental and physical well-being among staff members.
Employee wellness is important the world over
Thursday, 22 September 2011 16:00In a Gallup poll of 47,000 organizations in 116 countries, researchers found that good working conditions are inextricably linked to an employee's sense of personal well-being. Additionally, the survey consistently found that wellness was also tied to engagement.
This suggests that a healthy workplace may lead to stronger employee performance, no matter what the region.
However, the study also found that the majority of workers are not engaged in their jobs, though the U.S. appears to be among the nations with higher rates of employees who are happy and dedicated to their work.
According to LeadershipAdvantage.com, organizations seeking stronger employee engagement should try to foster good inter-office relationships. Additionally, good communication, a clearly defined job role and matching employees with positions appropriate for their skills can all encourage dedication and positivity in the workplace.
Research has shown that workers who feel as though their supervisors have a staff's best interest in mind tend to be more loyal to their company.
Employee wellness programs that provide tools and resources for stress management have also been shown to reduce workplace stress, while strengthening employee performance and improving staff health.
Most organizations not tracking costs of employee absences
Thursday, 22 September 2011 16:00Previous research has suggested that workers who experience elevated levels of workplace stress tend to take more days off than their counterparts who feel less tension.
This may factor into losses on an organization's bottom line, but a recent Society for Human Resource Management survey reveals that many companies do not keep track of the costs of employee absences.
A total of 79 percent of respondents said they keep track of how many days workers are taking off. However, 61 percent said they do not have a system in place to calculate losses of unplanned absences, and 53 percent reported a lack of tracking for costs of extended time off.
Organizations may want to start paying attention, since an article on a website of the Human Resources Network states that absences may cost as much as 36 percent of a worker's base salary. While unplanned sick days and other uexpected absences accounted for a lower expense overall, they end up costing more in the long run, since vacation days are often factored into a salary.
This suggests that employee wellness programs meant to reduce workplace stress may cut down on the number of sick days workers take, which may ultimately improve a company's bottom line.
Researchers quantify healthcare savings of weight loss
Thursday, 22 September 2011 16:00Excess body fat is linked to a host of chronic illnesses, such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. These conditions require ongoing treatment, and therefore present a major challenge in reducing healthcare costs, especially in light of rising obesity rates.
As a result, researchers at biopharmaceutical company VIVUS conducted a study to determine how much could be saved in Medicare costs if patients on the plan dropped their body weight by 10 percent.
They found that the decrease in body fat could potentially result in $8 billion in savings over a decade, and $35 billion over the patients' lifetimes.
"Obesity is a national epidemic with few useful treatment options. I am hopeful that new therapies will continue to be developed at a time when members of Congress are looking for Medicare spend reductions with aging baby boomers," said Kenneth E. Thorpe, Ph.D., professor and chair of health policy and management at the Emory Rollins School of Public Health.
These findings suggest that employee wellness programs that encourage healthy living may result in fewer obese staff members, which may save companies significant money on employee health benefits.
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