Counting the cost of stress

Publication date

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Approval date

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

With one in five workers having called in sick because of stress, it is easy to see why the International Stress Management Association (ISMA) has pressed for today (4 November) to be designated National Stress Awareness Day (NSAD).

The aim is to promote awareness of the impact of stress in the workplace and particularly in those sectors most affected: health, social work, education and public administration.

ISMA points out that, while businesses have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of their employees, which includes identifying and tackling mental health issues, it is also in their best interests to ensure that employees are happy.

According to research, 42% of people have left a job as a direct result of stress, with stressed employees often being more susceptible to burnout, which could mean they suffer a long-term illness, leading to a loss of talent within an organisation.

As ISMA highlights, quite apart from the human cost involved, when all elements of the recruitment and replacement process are taken into account, each employee lost as a result of stress could cost just over £30,000 to replace.

Several studies on the relationship between job stress and job satisfaction have concluded that these variables are inversely related.

ISMA suggests that, therefore, managers should focus on motivating employees as one way of ensuring employees feel happy at work.

As Danny Clenaghan, managing director of Argos for Business, said: "Feeling valued is the most important aspect of a job for 43% of workers and this does not have to cost a business huge amounts. Offering a genuine thank you, a duvet day, a low-cost gift voucher or allowing your team to leave 30 minutes early on a Friday, can go a long way in ensuring bosses hold onto valuable team members."