Stress and the American Worker

Stressed out workers are becoming a growing trend. 

According to a recent Randstad Engagement survey, U.S. employees cited stress as a top reason to quit their jobs. 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.

According to ComPsych, the world’s largest provider of employee assistance programs (EAP), 26 percent of employees say stress is a health concern, up from 18 percent in 2012.

ComPsych Chairman and CEO, Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz said a key contributing factor has been the widespread impact of the struggling economy, according to Forbes.  “Companies have been slow to hire, so many are still doing the work of two or three people and, over time, the resulting stress takes a serious toll on emotional and even physical health,” he said in a 2013 interview. 

Managing Workplace Stress
Jim Link, Chief HR Officer at Randstad North America, said that stress management is key to maintaining a productive workforce.

“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.”

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