Political Stress May Be Weighing On Your Workforce

Year after year, the top sources of America’s stress include money, work, and health, but this year a new source has been thrown in the mix – political stress. According to the APA, 52% of Americans feel that politics are a “very” or “somewhat significant” source of stress in their lives, and this stress is the same regardless of what party, if any, that you affiliate with.

Stress impacts our sleep, what we eat, and our relationships, all of which impact how we operate at work. Stress can affect our ability to concentrate on a task and can lead to poor work quality. A recent study conducted by ComPsych reveals that:

  • 66% of employees report that they have difficulty focusing on tasks at work because of stress.
  • 21% said that stress was responsible for errors and/or missed deadlines.
  • 16% reported trouble getting along with co-workers/superiors due to stress.

Redirecting our stress and frustrations out on someone who didn’t add more paper to the printer or who disagreed with your sales pitch leads to unnecessary tension in the workplace.

So why do we subconsciously get worked up over smaller issues or let stress affect our productivity?

The chemicals produced by our brain in moments of stress linger for up to two hours after the incident.  So that sly remark from your not-so-favorite coworker, a missed deadline, or your least favorite presidential candidate pulling ahead in the polls can still be affecting your performance two hours later, and each new instance of stress can build on the other.

According to the American Institute for Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their coworkers need such help, yet companies often forget to include stress management types of training in their wellness programs.

Many wellness programs focus on the physical ways to manage the effects of stress – like gym memberships or a workout facility in the office and disease prevention programs. Some companies even offer incentives for employees to complete physical health risk assessments, intended to identify health issues. But what about the mental aspect of stress – aka the cause of all of our physical ailments and issues. Why don’t companies address our mindset and the ways we handle stress?

Resiliency training is a proactive measure for helping your organization deal with stress, while gyms and healthcare incentives are a reactive measure. If we train our staff to view a stressful situation as an opportunity rather than a threat or to bounce forward from times of adversity we can eliminate inefficiencies and wasted time in our organization.

When people become overly stressed they become paralyzed with inaction. But stress doesn’t have to be a negative and oftentimes can be an indicator of a more fulfilling life. We just need to train our brains to view it that way. Because of the highly elastic nature of our brains, we can train our mind to see the glass as half full instead of half empty.

As mentioned earlier, 40% of people say they need help in learning how to manage stress on the job. Give your employees what they need to diminish stress and worker disengagement in your organization.

Learn more about using resiliency training in conjunction with your wellness program here.

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