Between deadlines, working overtime, and pressures from superiors, work can be a high-stress environment. A little bit of stress can be a good thing and help create good habits. However, a lot of stress can have negative effects on a person’s life. This stress can affect a person’s sleep, eating habits, \weight, and relationships.
NPR covered a survey that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health took of over 1,500 workers by landline and cellphone to measure employees stress levels and how it affects their life. They also measured the employee’s satisfaction in their employer’s attempts to reduce stress levels throughout the organization. We’ll provide a summary, but you really should read the full article here.
This survey had some very interesting results that shone a spotlight on the workaholic culture in America. Only half of the employees surveyed said that their employers offered any type of health or wellness programs. Around a quarter of employees surveyed rated their employers as either ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ in ways that they provide services to help reduce stress.
Different industries have different stress levels as well. Although retail workers reported the highest levels of stress, almost 20% of medical community and factory or manufacturing jobs surveyed reported that their jobs had a negative impact on their health.
Pop culture often shows that these industries can be stressful, but in the real world, both of these industries are major proprietors of Lean philosophy. As we know, Lean promotes the reduction of waste and the increase of quality. Why is it that workers in the medical and manufacturing industries have a lower quality of life in these areas than restaurant or office workers?
Healthy, less stressed workers can be more productive and can focus more on improving the job instead of worrying about how they will complete their work load. Organizations should want to help reduce stressful work environments so that they are left with more productive employees.
Aside from offering classes, there are additional ways to help employees stay healthy and reduce stress. Software that can track and measure employee health can be beneficial for an entire organization. It helps to get the most out of your employees and it to make your organization a more attractive place to work.
In a recent update, KaiNexus added the ability to be able to track employee health. With both quantitative and qualitative analysis, KaiNexus continuous improvement software allows organizations to make an improvement when they see declining employee health or increased stress. These improvements lead to increased productivity levels and have additional benefits for employee health and satisfaction.