Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

5 sources of stress that might be festering issues in your office

employee stress 3If you’re doing a great job of managing your talent talent, the results of your hard work will probably be visible in your company’s success with employee retention and productivity. Handle your employees right, and they’ll let you know it – they’ll stick around for a long time, engage easily and work hard on a daily basis.

That’s the upside. There’s one common factor that holds companies back from reaching this ideal situation, though – stress. When employees are unhappy in their jobs, they tend to get frustrated and lose focus. As an HCM professional, it benefits you to get to the bottom of this issue. What causes employees to stress out? What issues can you address that will help alleviate this problem?

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, there are several, but one key one is unpredictability. People like having jobs that are straightforward – they want to come in each morning and quickly understand what projects they have to tackle and why. A survey from CareerCast found that 25 percent of employees find an unpredictable work routine to be stressful.

“Unpredictability for the purpose of this survey refers to constantly changing workflow, based on factors beyond the worker’s control,” said Kyle Kensing, online content editor with CareerCast.

While unpredictability is one of the leading causes behind workplace stress, it’s far from the only cause. Kensing found a few other workplace issues to be partially responsible. Here’s a rundown of five other sources of stress that might be lingering at your place of business.

An uncomfortable work environment
People like to go to work every day in an environment that welcomes and comforts them. Is there any tension or hostility in your office? Are there any distractions that could impede people’s work? If so, it’s best to address these issues ASAP.

Difficult deadlines to meet
No one likes having to rush through a job because they’re up against an impossible deadline. If employees are feeling stressed out about their assignments, either they need to improve their time management or you need to reexamine their workloads. 

Long days, weeks and years
Do your employees have to work too many hours each day to get through their to-do lists? This can be a problem. Long days blur together, and eventually the weeks, months and years start to feel longer as well. Reasonable hours and work flexibility are important for maintaining work-life balance.

Concerns about physical safety
This doesn’t apply to many who have desk jobs, but some employees in industrial settings with a lot of physical labor have to worry about their safety every day. Your No. 1 priority as an employer should be to keep people safe and secure, so they are not in a constant state of stress. 

Big-picture career mobility goals
Do you have ambitious employees on your staff who are always angling for the next big promotion? If so, let them know that their efforts won’t be in vain. Give them something to work for, and it will set their minds at ease.

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