Workplace Stress

Excessive stress leads employees to have difficulty managing emotions, focusing their attention, making decisions and thinking clearly or objectively. It also leads to negative coping skills and is associated with sickness, heart disease, cancer, pain, anxiety and depression, all of which can result in higher absenteeism, disability, healthcare costs and lost productivity.  Workplace stress management programs can help employees more effectively manage their stress and be more productive and present on the job.

Interventions typically fall under two main focus categories:

  1. Stress management programs to increase psychological resources and responses (e.g. coping skills) including evidence-based strategies promoting exercise, conflict management , motivational interviewing and cognitive restructuring/reframing
  2. Work organization/environment programs where systems and policies are in place that support organizational development and design for reducing job-related stress

The most successful stress management programs integrate three levels of prevention: primary (vision, culture, communication), secondary (HRAs, screenings, coaching, information, webinars, education, referrals/self-referrals to Employee Assistance Program (EAP)) and tertiary (disease management, disability management, absence and disability prevention) prevention approaches.

Introduction to Stress: Dr. John Howard, Director of the CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, shares his perspective on stress and it’s role in the workplace for the development of illness.
Stress (Part II): In this follow-up video, industry leaders frame stress as a workplace hazard and offer ways employers can minimize stressors in the workplace to maximize employee health, safety and well-being.

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