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Stress is contributing to high employee burnout, turnover

Companies that use employee rewards programs could alleviate some of the stress in their offices.

Over the last few years companies have been reluctant to add new hires to the payroll. The economy has faced periods of prolonged uncertainty and revenue remained relatively flat. Without a clear path for growth, companies have put off expenses in any way they can. This is placing additional pressure on existing employees to achieve more with fewer resources and could result in a significant amount of employee burnout.

USA Today reports that the added stress placed on workers during periods of economic uncertainty can have a negative influence on company performance. Stress can shift work priorities from improving abilities, to simply making it to the office.

“In an environment where unemployment is high, showing up is the first thing. The importance of performance is second,” Richard Chaifetz, CEO of ComPsych Corp., told the source “It correlates with burnout, stress, fatigue, overwork and an obsession with and distraction by personal issues.”

Other surveys also noted the increase in employee stress over the last few years. An article in Fortune cites a survey by Opinion Matters in which 72 percent of IT administrators stated they were stressed and 67 percent had considered switching careers. The source also notes that in March 2012 1.8 percent of full-time workers in the construction, manufacturing, business services and hospitality industries left their jobs, despite the difficulty of finding another during periods of high unemployment. High levels of employee turnover could reduce office morale and engagement levels in offices, contributing to even lower performance levels.

Beating the stress
Companies that use employee rewards programs could alleviate some of the stress in their offices. These initiatives provide a simple and cost effective way to recognize top performers and engage workers. Reward programs provide a way to inject fun into daily tasks, creating contests and encouraging additional cooperation that make jobs easier. This can reduce the stress among employees while also showing that top leaders understand the sacrifices that workers make to keep the organization running effectively.

Tampa Bay Times states that rewards don’t have to be monetary to be effective. Providing stress-busting rewards may encourage workers to keep pushing for results, knowing that they will be rewarded with an extra-day off, a massage or a trip to a local spa. Making rewards personal and relevant to the needs of staff members will increase motivation in the workplace while also helping to create a more stress-free environment.

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