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 US Department of Labor (DOL) regulations concerning the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA).
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.
An employer may use this checklist to identify signs of employee stress. Ignoring employee stress is likely to lead to the employee becoming overwhelmed which may result in negative consequences.
An employer may use this checklist to recognize employee depressions. Employee depression should be a concern for employers because depressed employees are more likely to be unproductive and likely to quit.
Employment glossary definition of Burnout.
HR guidance on preventing and responding to employee stress.