Stressin' 9 to 5: 
How Workplace Pressure Prompts Employee Resignations 

ATLANTA, August 26, 2014 — As the nation celebrates Labor Day and pays tribute to the American worker, an increasing number of employees continue to battle a workforce issue that threatens the productivity of businesses nationwide: Stress.

According to a recent Randstad Engagement study, U.S. employees cited stress as a top reason to quit their jobs. Randstad asked 2,257 American workers what would be the most likely reasons to leave their current position. When asked to select up to three out of ten possible factors that might push an employee to leave their job —including excessive workload and difficult working relationships — a high stress level (at 24%) was the third most selected reason, behind pay (37%) and opportunity for advancement (27%).

“As our nation continues to recover from the Great Recession, workplace stress has become the norm for many American workers who struggle with increased workloads, constant connectivity and poor work-life balance,” said Jim Link, chief HR officer, Randstad North America. “This has become an issue of concern for employers nationwide, as it not only affects employee morale, but also a company’s bottom line. The American Psychological Association estimated that job stress costs U.S. businesses more than $300 billion a year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity and healthcare costs.”  

Who’s Most Likely to Quit Due to Stress: Women and Millennials
The study found the negative effects of workplace stress vary by gender and, to a lesser extent, age. For example, 27 percent of women (compared to 22% of men) cite a high stress level as a top reason to leave their current job. Within generational groups, one quarter (25%) of Gen Y/Millennial employees say stress is a likely reason they would leave their current organization, similar to Generation X and Baby Boomers, both at 24 percent.

“It’s crucial for managers to understand there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to addressing the problem of stress in the workplace, and some employees are more susceptible to stress than others,” Link said. “The good news about workplace stress is that it can be managed, especially when employers provide support – and that starts with being well-connected to your workers. Companies can impact employee stress by communicating regularly with workers to identify their concerns and establishing wellness programs that make healthy stress management a top priority across the organization.”

Five Tips to Alleviate Workplace Stress
Communicate often: By effectively communicating with workers, managers can better gauge the stress level of their employees and work to diminish pressure before it affects morale and productivity.
Encourage camaraderie: Employees who actively connect with one another often create a better office environment. It’s important to set aside time for staff to socialize and get to know one another.
Promote wellness: Give employees access to wellness programs that help relieve stress; whether it’s a company workout facility or reimbursements for yoga classes, wellness programs are proven strategies to help relieve workplace stress.
Set an example: Healthy stress management starts at the top; if employees consistently see their boss as being stressed, the negative energy can trickle down and impact the entire team.
Empower your employees: One of the most stress-inducing triggers is feeling out of control, so allow your staff to take ownership of their work and give them as much control as possible when it comes to making decisions on how work gets done.

Survey Methodology
The Randstad Engagement Study is comprised of findings from biannual waves of research targeting employees and annual surveys of employers. The ninth wave of findings was conducted online April 1–8, 2014 from a national sample of 2,257 adults aged 18 and older who are currently employed full time from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel. Weighting was used to balance demographics and ensure samples reflect the U.S. population of working adults. Employees and employers were surveyed to compare notable differences in perceptions and attitudes. Multiple waves of research allow for trending and to track changes in perceptions and attitudes over time. Research into employee attitudes and perceptions will be conducted biannually. Research into employer attitudes and perceptions will be conducted on an annual basis.

About Randstad US
Randstad US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a $22.0 billion global provider of HR services. As the third largest staffing organization in the U.S., Randstad holds top positions in permanent placement, office and administrative, IT and accounting and finance. From professional services, commercial staffing, recruitment process outsourcing, to managed services and more, Randstad delivers a comprehensive range of temporary, temporary-to-hire, permanent placement and outsourced placement services. With its 5,324 employment experts, Randstad puts an average of approximately 100,000 people to work in the U.S. each week, through its network of nearly 1,000 branches and client-dedicated locations.