Monday, 01 August 2011 16:00More than heavy workloads, long hours and a lack of opportunity for advancement, low salaries are causing anxiety in U.S. workers, according to an American Psychological Association (APA) survey.
The research revealed that about half of the surveyed employees named their wages as the number one cause of their workplace stress, while 43 percent cited a dismal forecast for opportunities and overwhelming responsibilities as reasons why they feel tension at work.
Additionally, a total of 40 percent of respondents said that their employers have unrealistic expectations of their work capacity and 39 percent said that long workdays are a big source of stress.
Experts at the APA said that employers should address these issues and focus on employee wellness if they want to boast a thriving business.
“Creating a psychologically healthy workplace is good for employees and business results,” said Norman Anderson, Ph.D., CEO of the APA.. “This is a growing trend and it is our hope that all organizations will eventually have some type of psychologically healthy workplace program.”
Results of the survey suggest that many organizations may be in need of employee wellness programs that help workers manage their stress and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Monday, 01 August 2011 16:00Recent survey results indicate that employers are finding it difficult to retain their best employees with low budgets and employee satisfaction, according to Catherine Hartmann of Mercer. Salary is the greatest factor in appealing to key employees, over employee health benefits and other considerations, Hartmann added.
Organizations are fighting to keep these top workers, with the survey results indicating that higher salary increases are being employed by many companies in order to attract these employees and keep them. Because of the limited funds for pay increases, compensation is being increasingly tied to worker performance, with the top 8 percent expected to receive raises as high as 4.4 percent.
At the same time, pay raises among most non-management or executive personnel are expected to be 3 percent or less, when raises for these workers averaged 2.8 percent in 2011. The payment practices covered by the survey affect over 12 million workers at over 12 thousand mid-size or larger companies in the nation. The survey indicated 97 percent of the organizations intended to increase base pay to some extent.
Employees performance may suffer under these circumstances, with stress high and significant financial concerns common. Measures to promote employee wellness may be called for, such as obtaining the HeartMath's emWave2®, a handheld device that can be used to manage stress effects for employees.
Sunday, 31 July 2011 16:00It's amazing what a simple to-do list can help an individual achieve. From organization to prioritization, it's the little things in life that assist people in dealing with everyday stressors.
Employees looking to reduce workplace stress may want to consider taking a few minutes at the beginning of their day to write down what needs to be done, things that can wait for later and tasks that can be handled by someone else.
MindTools.com recommended breaking large tasks up in a to-do list by creating a separate set of jobs for that project. Lists should be prioritized from most important to least important.
Additionally, the site said that it may help individuals to make different lists for their work and personal lives.
HelpGuide.org has warned that some employees experience intense workplace stress as a result of their need to control every detail of a project. The source recommended that workers try to delegate less important jobs to a co-worker who may have more time or flexibility.
Sunday, 31 July 2011 16:00The UK-based Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) recently released a report evaluating several programs aimed at reducing workplace stress. The findings concluded that management personnel had to work toward the right levels of involvement to successfully reduce job-related stress.
Specifically, the CIPD concluded that managers at various levels needed to understand, agree with and support the aims of a stress intervention program in order to serve as effective role models and convince employees of the project's value.
In order to secure that kind of managerial involvement and commitment, the report concluded that selecting and effectively communicating a stress-reduction program's message to both managers and employees is necessary.
The report notes that organizations may need to select tools to fit their particular culture, for example using statistics to underscore the need for a stress management program or naming it in a way that is consistent with the organization's past programs.
To establish your own corporate wellness initiative, consider HeartMath's Revitalize You! e-learning program, which may help employees learn techniques to reduce stress. It also makes a number of tools available.
Employees can benefit from the emWave2 handheld interactive device, which gives immediate feedback, allowing users to align their breathing and heart rhythms and reducing the negative effects of stress.
Sunday, 31 July 2011 16:00Australian federal work health and safety regulator Comcare has recently reported that mental stress claims at work have increased 54 percent since 2006. Workplace stress can negatively affect productivity, employee loyalty and retention.
Workplace stress may lead to fatigue that can weaken the body and mind, making illness and disease more likely and negatively impacting employee performance. Job stress can contribute to symptoms like headaches, mood and sleep disturbances, or possibly worsen existing medical conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Australian report revealed that bullying and harassment were major causes of stress along with the pressure of the work itself. While companies may have bullying policies, they can be insufficient.
"In many cases, the policies can be subverted so that...sometimes people will turn a blind eye to it and sometimes people will block workers' attempts to bring it to the attention of senior staff," said Helen McGrath, a Deakin University psychologist.
McGrath noted that Australian authorities have increased efforts to reduce bullying by educating workers on their rights. Occupational health and safety consultant Kevin Jones stated that some complaints, when investigated, turn out to be more of a misunderstanding or isolated incident rather than regular bullying.
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