Manage Job Stress to Control Healthcare Costs

In today’s globally competitive business environment companies must be highly productive while controlling costs.  Often, this means that corporate teams are operating with fewer employees and each staff member is carrying a sizable load. Along with that can come a fair amount of job stress; in addition, people may also be managing personal stress at home.

All stress is not equal: Some comes from things we welcome into our lives like a new baby, going back to school to advance our career, or getting a big promotion at work.  Yet, because of the health effects of stress it is important that all negative stress is monitored, managed and, where possible, eliminated.

While stress is a part of life

Chronic stress is a threat to health and is responsible for a large big part of increased healthcare costs for businesses.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that heart disease is among the top 10 most expensive health conditions to U.S. employers.  Stress is a contributing factor to these heart and cardiovascular conditions.  Employers who want a happier workforce and reduced healthcare costs can help employees manage job stress with three key steps: Boost awareness of the health impacts of stress.

Use Measureable tools like health

Risk assessments to gauge workforce stress. Incentivize employees to work and live with healthier habits. Boost awareness of the health impacts of stress Knowing that a problem exists is half the battle of in solving it. Such is the case with stress. Many people wave stress off as no big deal because they do not realize the impact it is having on their bodies.

Use your employee and internal communication tools to start getting Find ways to get the word out to your employees that stressing out regularly is a big problem, by using available internal communication systems.

Give them employees tips

Each week or month via e-mail, in newsletters, during quarterly performance reviews, or whenever you can about how to best deal with stress.  Also, use the break room, elevators, stairways, and other areas of the physical workplace to display preventive health messages about stress. Use measureable tools like health risks assessments to gauge workforce stress General numbers about stress in larger society are helpful for increasing awareness.

 But to really be most effective at cutting stress at levels in your company it is important to find out specifically just how stressed out your workforce employees are.  Measureable tools like health risk assessments – completed once or twice per year by your staff –will provide the empirical data to help you make healthier workplace policies decisions.

 You can decide which programs will empower employees to be healthier.  With measureable tools you can track stress reduction over time, and celebrate as a team as you collectively meet your goal to be more productive without stressing out. Incentivize employees to work and live with healthier habits Armed with information about the specific level of specific stress levels at your company and exactly what is causing it, you can begin to implement opportunities for employees to blow off some steam and work with healthier habits.

 Lead by example:

  • Show employees how to reduce stress productively
  • Simple things like listening to soft music while you work
  • Breathing deeply
  • Laughing often
  • Taking a brisk walk during breaks
  • Or even chewing gum

Agreeing

As a company that food orders for meetings will always include more vegetable and fruit options instead of high sugar and fat carbohydrate options can incent employees to make healthier decisions on their own. Launching friendly competitions among employees to see who can stand the longest during a meeting, walk the most steps in a week, or drink the right amount of water each day are simple and fun ways to incent employees to pay closer attention to their health and begin reducing stress.

These simple techniques, in addition to promoting work-life balance policies at work, can help keep employees productive and protected against the negative health impacts of unhealthy stress. In fact, applying these three keys consistently over time will add up to less stress and healthcare costs for the whole team. Written by a staff writer at Well source, Inc. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Well source has been a leader in Health Risk Assessment technology and corporate wellness for over 30 years.

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