The following extract has been taken from HR.BLR.COM.
Stress at work contributes to poor job performance more than stress at home or financial worries, according to a study by the Integrated Benefits Institute, workforce health and productivity research and measurement organization.
Employees’ job performance—as assessed through self-reported ratings on how often the employee was not careful, had difficulty concentrating, got less done than others and at times got no work done—steadily declines as stress at work increases. Among employees who never experience stress at work, 68 percent perform at or above the average performance of the overall sample.
At the other end of the spectrum, just 41 percent of employees who experience permanent or continual workplace stress perform at that performance level.
“Employers are between a rock and a hard place in dealing with workplace stress. On the one hand, the challenging economy translates into employees working longer hours and experiencing more stress at work. On the other hand, employers want a high-performing workforce,” said IBI President Thomas Parry, PhD.
To determine what actions could help employers manage stress at work and improve employee performance, IBI examined the link between employee health and stress, and its outcomes. Employee stress includes the stresses workers experience at work, at home, and from financial concerns.
The study found that healthier employees are less likely to experience work-related stress, with those in excellent health least likely to be stressed out. For example, 27 percent of employees in excellent health never experience work stress compared with 9 percent who report experiencing permanent or continual stress. At the other extreme, within the fair or poor health group, 15 percent of employees experience permanent or continual stress compared with just 6 percent who never experience work stress.
IBI’s analysis is based on a data containing health risk appraisal (HRA) information from 6,437 employees and job performance items from the HPQ-Select employee health and productivity self-report survey, which was co-developed by the Integrated Benefits Institute and Dr. Ronald Kessler of the Harvard Medical School.
“The findings highlight employers’ opportunity to manage employees’ harmful stress since they have more influence over the work environment than on a worker’s home life or financial situation,” added Dr. Kimberly Jinnett, IBI’s research director.
The study may be accessed at: http://ibiweb.org/uploads/knowledge-bank/content/Oct2011QuickStudy-StressedOut.pdf.