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Thoughts From Our Director

What Is the Cause of Workplace Stress?

A recent survey by Willis Towers Watson, a global advisory, broking and solutions company, found 75% of US employers say stress is their number one workplace health concern. The survey goes on to reveal a disconnect between employers and employees as to the cause of the stress.  Employers in the survey indicated that the number one cause of stress was lack of work/life balance (excessive workload and/or long hours), while employees view this as number six.  The number one cause of stress, according to employees, is inadequate staffing (lack of support, uneven workload, or performance in the group).

This got me thinking about the comparison I saw many years ago about the differences in rank among values between employees and supervisors.  Employees ranked “having a say” as number one, while supervisors thought employees ranked pay as number one.   It also makes me ponder how disconnects like this occur.  While there is no research study to prove it and only antidotal evidence, I believe the cause is our general lack of willingness to have difficult or crucial conversations with the people we work with.  This probably applies at home too, but we will define our discussions to the workplace.

Last week, I had the privilege of working with a group of employees in dealing with conflict. After the session, the manager shared his frustration in the lack of his staff’s willingness to address issues head on.  For many people, is it easier to complain than to address the issue.  No doubt these conversations are difficult, but they pay off!  The problem can be solved at step one instead of continuing to build and blossom into a full scale assault.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to have a difficult or crucial conversation, EAC can help. Our skilled counseling staff can help you formulate a script, practice the conversation and discuss possible outcomes and responses to resolve the issue sooner rather than later.  If you’ve been avoiding a conversation with a colleague, call us today.

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