The business benefits of being good at stress.

Does it make sense for a small- to medium-sized organization to engage in a stress management program? We know the big companies have stress management programs so it must return a tangible value to the company. Let’s forget about size for the moment and take a look at why any organization would want its employees to be good at managing stress, using good stress, and transforming harmful stress into useful stress.

How do we know when we are stressed? The American Institute of Stress lists 50 common signs and symptoms of negative stress including:

  • Headaches
  • Heartburn
  • Gas and belching
  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Fertility issues
  • Weakened immune system
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • High blood sugar
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomach and digestive problems and pain
  • Muscle tension
  • Burnout
  • Exhaustion
  • Irritability, anger and impatience
  • Anxiety

The effects these signs and symptoms can have on a business can be profound. Sixty percent of lost workdays each year can be attributed to stress. In addition, an estimated 75 to 90 percent of visits to healthcare providers are due to stress-related conditions, costing employers in increased healthcare costs. Employees under stress may make more mistakes, have trouble concentrating, become disorganized, become angry, or just stop caring about their work. The Wall Street Journal reported that one third of people surveyed considered quitting their jobs because of stress and 14 percent actually did. These issues and concerns left unaddressed will ultimately hurt morale and profits.

According to the HeartMath Institute and the American Psychological Association, some of the personal benefits of being good at managing, using, and transforming stress include:

  • Increased sense of well-being
  • Increased life expectancy
  • Decrease in impatience, irritability, and anger
  • Improved physical and mental health
  • Memory, focus, and other brain functions improve
  • More energy in daytime, more restful sleep at night
  • Higher scores on life satisfaction and happiness indexes
  • Greater resilience
  • Increased creativity and productivity

Those individual or personal benefits translate very well for the business environment. From an individual and business perspective, the benefits of a low negative stress workplace environment and getting good at stress go right to the bottom line. Here is a short list of individual and organizational benefits of effective stress management programs from WorkLife Balance.

Stress management training benefits to the individual:

  • Reduced personal stress
  • Improved decision making
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved health and well-being
  • Connecting better to co-workers, family & friends
  • More value, balance, and happiness every day

Stress management training benefits to your organization:

  • Reduced negative organizational stress
  • Increased use of positive stress
  • Increased individual productivity and responsibility
  • Better team communications and morale
  • Improved employee retention and new employee attraction
  • Improved customer satisfaction

As if that wasn’t enough, below are some additional benefits experienced from effective stress management programs:

  • Greater creativity and problem-solving ability
  • Less sick days and doctor visits
  • More engaged employees
  • Better attitudes and moods
  • Increased burnout resilience
  • Reduced workplace conflicts

We can never eliminate or get rid of stress completely. We can’t live a life of value, purpose and meaning without experiencing stress and the only real alternative we have to being harmed by stress is to become better at it. Not just better at managing harmful stress but also, and perhaps more importantly, better at using good stress and transforming the harmful stress into helpful stress.

Have you noticed that your employees or staff members exhibiting some of the negative signs and symptoms of stress? Do they appear to be struggling to manage stress or to transform harmful stress into helpful stress? Is your company growing a “Best Place to Work” environment? This might be a good time to invest in an effective stress reduction and transformation program. You’ll see rejuvenated employees, more creativity, and reduced workplace conflicts. In turn, your customers will be happier, and your bottom line will improve. Effective stress programs benefit the entire organization.

Take the first step toward building a better tomorrow right now by giving Stonehouse Resources a call.