Why should leaders care more about stress at work?
Stress was previously regarded as a manager-illness, however, more than half of all illnesses are due to some kind of work-related stress. What obligations do leaders have on the field of psychosocial risks? What should directors do to create their workplace a more balanced and healthy one?
A collective issue
To begin with, let’s make it clear that stress is not a problem of an individual, it’s a collective issue. Stress is recognized worldwide as a major challenge to workers' well-being and health. What is more, stress costs a lot and causes great damages not only to the corporation but to the whole economy.
Legal issues for stress at work
Stress is one of the psychosocial risks an employee can suffer at workplace, thus in Hungary it is already covered under the Occupational Safety Law as of 2008. According to the law, stress should be seen as a hazard to everyday work life just like any other aspect of health and safety. When addressing the stress, the main objective should be minimise the risk of stress-related illness or injury to employees.
Why should leaders care about work-related stress?
As previously mentioned: half ot the sick-leaves are due to some kind of stress related illness, and even accidents happen five times more often at a stressful workplace. But stress has also got a great (negative) impact on the employees’ productivity, their ability to focus and to adapt to change, plus it negatively affects social networks and connections both at work and in private life.
How to decrease stress at work?
Interventions may be needed both on corporational and individual level. You should have a look at your company culture, your managerial attitude, and the demands towards workers. What could be changed to take some burden off the employees? On the personal level, set clear goals to the workers, create a safe and healthy work environment, listen to your employees, and most importantly, do not forget to give positive feedback to them.