Overview: Workplace stress is an important employer concern for a number of reasons. Workplace stress can:
Offering an employee assistance program and supporting a work-life balance creates happier employees, which in turn results in more productive, harder working employees. Offering strong vacation packages, and encouraging employees to take advantage of those packages, also may lead to better job performance.
However, even with the right policies and programs in place, an employer must ensure that front-line managers support these efforts. A manager can easily cause unnecessary stress by setting unrealistic deadlines and goals, threatening employees who request time off or rewarding workaholic behavior.
Trends: With a tough economy, many employees feel as if they have to be the hardest-working, most-dedicated employee, never taking a vacation day or sick day. While the hard work and dedication can be admirable, in extreme cases, it can lead to employees becoming workaholics, resulting in sloppy work and lower job retention.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
Updated to reflect amended OSHA electronic reporting requirements as a result of its final rule, issued January 24, 2019.
This section of the XpertHR best practice manual discusses the business case for investing in employee stress management and explains how to develop and implement a framework for managing stress.
Employment glossary definition of Burnout.
Employment glossary definition of Stress Management.
Employment glossary definition of Workaholic.
HR guidance on preventing and responding to employee stress.