Why are your employees stressed?(Infographic)
Categories: Management Tips
Workplace stress is a killer.
Not only is job pressure the number 1 cause of stress for Americans, but it’s also the source of both physical and psychological symptoms. Showing up as fatigue and irritability, and even death.
Stress is something you can’t always escape, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it run rampant in the office. Especially in these crazy times. We all have enough on our plates as it is!
So to protect your team from stress and its negative impacts, it’s in your best interest as manager to root out the causes of stress in your workplace.
That's why we created an infographic highlighting the top 11 causes of workplace stress. With a few tips on how to reduce these sources of stress with some resource planning practices. These are some ideas to get you started on a stress free 2021. For you and your team.
But first let’s look at the impact stress has on your organization and how to spot it.
What is stress?Stress is your body’s way of dealing with a particular demand. And is actually not a single response, but a sum of symptoms that manifest in a variety of ways.
It can be caused by pleasant or unpleasant stimuli. And this ultimately affects how it shows up for each individual.
Did you know that how a person reacts to stress can also determine how successfully they deal with change. Meaning we may not all be cut out for change management.
To aid those who aren’t so adept with change, we have an article on how to initiate change and make the process tolerable for your team. As well as some communication techniques for change management.
Signs of workplace stressStress can appear as a mix of physical and psychological symptoms. Everyone has their own unique reaction. And another person’s stress is not always apparent. Below are some common ways that workplace stress can rear its ugly face.
- Muscle tension
- Change in appetite
- Teeth grinding
- Irritability or anger
- Feeling nervous
- Lack of energy
- Feeling as though you could cry
Stress impacts every part of a person’s body - from the central nervous system, to digestion, reproduction, respiratory, and immunity. Meaning chronic stress can affect your entire well-being.
Workplace stress statistics
- 77% of Americans regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress
- 16% of people saying that they’ve quit a job because of the associated work stress
- 30% of people say they are “always” or “often” under stress at work
- 48% feel as though their stress has increased over the past 5 years
Why reduce workplace stress?When you have an office full of stressed out employees, you may not always notice the symptoms, but you'll definitely notice its impact. Here’s just some of the ways that stress can impact the work environment and activities.
Lower productivity - less output, lower ROIs, unhappy workers, and unhappy clients. Stress ultimately impacts every part of your team’s work process.
Higher turnover - Stressed workers are more likely to quit. A high turnover can eat into the time and effort of your HR department. And is equally negative for team dynamics.
Higher workplace costs - In 2018, US employers lost more than $617 billion to employee turnover. Couple that with the $300 Billion in annual costs employers pay for stress related health care and missed work, and you’ll see why stress is no small matter for businesses.
Death - But as much as stress impacts workplace costs, it’s also responsible for the immeasurable cost of a human life. It’s estimated that 120,000 deaths per year can be attributable to how U.S. companies manage (or mismanage) their work forces.
Eliminating and managing stress is expensive for both employers and employees. A more effective solution is reducing the causes of stress.
See how resource planning software can stamp out these top sources of your workplace stress. Sign up for a free trial of Ganttic today to get started.
What causes workplace stress?Now that we answered some of the basics about stress, we’ll look at a few of the top causes of stress in the workplace. And go into some detail as to what this means for your team.
Here’s our infographic on 11 main reasons stress transpires.
Let’s take a closer look at how these issues arise.
Reason for stress: Miscommunication
By far the biggest source of stress for teammates is miscommunication. With 52% of respondents citing lack of information, 42% accusing a lack of collaboration, and another 24% who are unsure of their own role in the project.
Miscommunication is frustrating for everyone involved in collaborative projects. And it’s something that has only been exasperated with the rise of remote work. Because emojis don’t always convey how we feel.
How reduce this stressor:
Gantt charts and Kanban boards are the most commonly used project management tools for a reason. They visually communicate what needs to be done to your whole team. And cloud-based versions can be deployed quickly and cheaply, meaning your team will never again question what they need to do.
Read on: Find out more about planning and scheduling with modern Gantt chart software or how combining a Kanban board with a Gantt chart can become the ultimate project management tool.
Reason for stress: Lack of accountabilityComing in with 44% and 37% of the respondents’ votes for top workplace stressors, is unclear task accountability and team members not doing their work.
This can mean that PMs are not making it clear what their teams need to be doing. And who actually does what. Which can go on to lead other issues with efficiency down the road.
Plus, when others aren’t pulling their load, team dynamics start to break down. Causing stress and hostility amongst members.
How reduce this stressor:
Hold people accountable by showing them what they need to do. Basic project resource management practices used by the PM can solve this by allocating tasks to specific people.
If you use resource planning software, you give everyone on the team an overview. Meaning no one can get away with not doing their individual tasks. Plus, extra features like deadlines, tasks’ dependencies (clearly indicating which tasks come first) and project milestones make it easy to see that everything is on track.
Read on: See why resource management is so important along with the kind of benefits your organization will begin to see once you implement its practices.
Reason for stress: Project scheduling and timeline issuesProblems arising from project scheduling cause stress for 49% and another 47% of respondents, citing unrealistic project goals and ever-changing deadlines respectively. Not surprisingly, unrealistic timeline expectations are also a main reason why projects end up failing.
Things like changing deadlines can be made worse if your team isn’t used to using a proper project planning tool. Because making and communicating changes to a spreadsheet isn’t only stressful for your team. But it’s stressful for you as PM.
How reduce this stressor:
Engaging in some bottom-up estimating techniques such as analogous estimating can help you figure out exactly how long past tasks took. Use these figures to then more accurately estimate your current tasks’ duration. And plan projects with more precision.
And if you do find out down the road that you need to make changes to your project’s dates. Don’t worry! If you’re using resource planning software, just click on a task and make some adjustments.
Read on: If you’re used to Excel for project and resource planning, we put together a list of spreadsheet alternatives you might want to consider instead.
Reason for stress: Leadership issues
All teams, no matter their size, require a leader. Giving the extra push, show of support, or insight needed to get the job done. Without effective leadership, employees are more prone to stress. With 44% citing unclear leadership and 28% accusing lack of involvement from project sponsors to be known stressors.
How reduce this stressor:
When it comes to getting project sponsors more involved, there’s not always something you can do. Though you can try!
Online PM Courses suggests a number of ways to engage your project sponsor, from appealing to their reason and sense of duty, to inventing special titles specifically for them. Think: Project VP or Head of Project Directives.
Another suggestion is keeping them in the loop on project progress. Sharing project plans or sending them reports can help them feel more involved from the outset, so that they eventually become more involved.
Read on: Worried your team is experiencing a lack of leadership? Take our quiz to find out what kind of leader you really are. Or read up on what some of the past leaders did to motivate their teams in times of crises.
Reduce stress at work
Stress kills. It kills motivation, productivity, projects. Even people. But you don’t have to let it.
The best way to reduce your workplace stress is with a resource and employee planning tool. Cloud solutions are easy to deploy, shareable with whomever needs the plans, and are a lot more secure than a spreadsheet. Plus, they can help if your team is onsite, remote, or a combination of both.
When you engage in employee planning with software like Ganttic, you ensure that your team members know exactly what they need to do and they have the right amount of work scheduled. That reduces stress for your team. And for you. Win, win!