In my earlier post, I stated that stress is ubiquitous, especially in our present working environment and it is not surprising to postulate that such phenomenon will continue to prevail as we see more demands, we have on ourselves and what our organisations demand of us.
As we already know that personal impact is unavoidable, how does stress in the workplace affect organisations? Just imagine when employees are absent from work or have decided to leave their employment because of the stress they experienced in the workplace. Organisations will have to look at replacing them and ensuring that productivity level does not slip.
According to the Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, which collects information from private industry and reports reasons for and duration of absences from work, in the United States, long-term sickness absences such as stress, anxiety and neurotic disorders were found to be higher in percentage as compared to other types of injuries or health problems. It was found in a data collection done in 2001, of the 42.1 per cent work absence cases due to mental ill-health, people were away from work for approximately thirty-one day or more.
All these accounted for about four times greater than the number of workdays lost for all other nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the United States. (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2004). Black (2008) argued that psychological distress, as compared to injuries and physical illnesses, is likely to be undiagnosed and untreated until it becomes an issue for the individual who will then need a significant time away from work just to recover.
A convincing business case for tackling mental health problems in the workplace (Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, UK) estimated that mental ill-health costs UK businesses in the region of £26 million per annum. Hilton (2005) suggested that employers who did invest in mental health initiatives such as screening and facilitating help seeking behaviour could benefit a five-fold return on such investment.
So organisations do prick up your ears and do realise that without happy employees it will, in some way, be thwarting to your business. As Black (2008) said, ‘Good mental health is good business.’
1. Flaxman, P.E., Bond, F.W., & Livheim, F. (2013). The Mindful and Effective Employee. An acceptance and commitment therapy: Training Manual for Improving Well-Being and Performance. New Harbinger Publications Inc, p9.
2. Flaxman, P.E., Bond, F.W., & Livheim, F. (2013). The Mindful and Effective Employee. An acceptance and commitment therapy: Training Manual for Improving Well-Being and Performance. New Harbinger Publications Inc, p9.
3. Black, C. (2008). Working for a healthier tomorrow. Report commissioned by the Secretaries of State for Health and Work and Pensions. Norwich. England: Stationery Office.
4. Hilton, M. (2005). Assessing the financial return on investment of good management strategies and the WORC project. University of Queensland. Retrieved from http://www.qcmhr.uq.edu.au/worc/Documents/Hilton_Paper(2005).pdf.