Stress can affect anyone at any time, and this holds true across your whole company. From part-time employees to upper-level management, work-related stress is capable of affecting both physical and emotional well-being. A survey by the American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence found that stress at work is a serious issue. More than a third of working Americans reported experiencing chronic work stress, and just 36 percent felt that their employers provide adequate resources to help them manage that stress.
For high-level employees, stress at work has become so commonplace that many people feel that burnout is just part of the job. In addition to all their daily responsibilities, upper-level employees must also focus on their own team, addressing performance issues, providing training and helping everyone stay motivated to succeed. With so much on these employees’ plates, it’s important for them to recognize and address the sources of their stress before burnout becomes prevalent.
The following signs should raise a red flag that job stress is getting to be too much for someone:
- Feeling that they must be accessible to their team at all times.
- Snapping at others — both at work and at home — for seemingly no reason.
- A feeling of disengagement from their team and other managers.
- Missing outside personal commitments because they can’t tear themselves away from work.
Stress Among Entry-Level Employees
While lower-level employees also experience work stress, the performance and well-being of other team members isn’t part of their daily responsibilities. The stress these employees face is often related to a common set of issues, including:
- An ongoing feeling of being overwhelmed by the workload.
- Not being recognized or appreciated for a job well done.
- Unrealistic job and performance expectations.
- A feeling that work must come before activities outside of the workplace.
- Taking on too many responsibilities and commitments, both at work and at home.
- Poor dietary and sleeping habits.
- Feeling that management is never satisfied with employee performance.
Address the Stress
All employees, regardless of their job level, will experience work-related stress at some point. It’s important, however, that the signs and symptoms of burnout are recognized and addressed as soon as possible. Fortunately, business leaders can do their best to ensure that all employees are able to recognize, address and manage stress at work while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Some of these steps include:
- Incorporating paid mental health or personal days.
- Being realistic with workloads.
- Accommodating employee commitments outside of the workplace.
- Encouraging side projects.
Work with your employees to show that you genuinely care about their well-being. Happy, balanced employees will perform better and take more pride in their work, so it’s wise to pay attention to the attitudes and engagement of your employees at every level.
Allison Hutton is an experienced writer, editor, communications professional, researcher and social media consultant. During her more than 15 years of communications and writing experience, Allison has worked with a variety of clients, from small-business owners to Fortune 500 companies. She has an M.S. in entertainment business, a B.A. in communication and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and four children.