Tackling employee stress in the workplace is a growing priority for leaders. But a couple of important factors are often forgotten when seeking solutions, says Jeffrey Pfeffer, writing for McKinsey Quarterly.
The physical and psychological effects of stress are well documented and they can add up to expensive consequences. In the US, for example, employers pay out nearly $200bn a year in stress-related healthcare costs, not to mention the negative impact on productivity and staff turnover.
Encouraging your team members to sleep well, eat well, exercise and practise mindfulness are all positive ways to promote wellbeing. But important research has identified that the work people are asked to do – and the level of control they have over how to carry it out – has a major implication in terms of stress. Building strong and regular social connections at work also has a bearing on how pressured people feel.