Three in five employees have stated that their mental health has declined this year because of workplace stress.
Despite Canadian employers spending millions on wellness initiatives every year – increasing their spend by 20% since the pandemic - 62% of professionals still think that their employer is not doing enough to combat stress in the workplace.
Professionals at risk
According to a poll of +2,500 by recruitment firm Robert Walters, 60% of professionals stated they have suffered from some form of workplace-related stress, which has been onset in 2023.
When asked how often they feel this way, a third stated ‘very often’ (34%), with a further 26% stating ‘somewhat often’, and 30% identified it as happening ‘sometimes.’ – Just 10% stated that they had not experienced any form of ‘reoccurring stress*’ at work this year. *stress-symptoms experienced more than 3 times for 7+ days at a time.
When asked about what causes workplace stress, concerns over job stability were the most common trigger (45%). Followed by more pressure from management (23%), lack of a pay rise (19%) and taking on a heftier workload this year (13%).
Whose responsibility is it?
When asked whose responsibility it was to manage workplace stress – 45% of professionals said it was down to HR and senior leaders – 19% said that it was the responsibility of line managers.
However, just 14% of professionals feel employers are doing enough, a further 24% feel some efforts have been made, but they are lacking – whilst the overwhelming majority (62%) state that employers are falling short in their efforts.
Martin Fox, Managing Director of Robert Walters Canada: “Canadian employers spend an estimated $400-600 per employee on wellness initiatives & benefits every year – but our survey indicates they may only be applying a band-aid.
“Employers must strike the balance between not breaking the bank or piling pressure onto managers to solve workplace stress but still being proactive and listening to the needs of their employees.”
Causes and effects
Long work hours, heavy workloads, tight deadlines, unclear job expectations, job insecurity, and conflicts with colleagues or supervisors are all factors which contribute towards workplace stress.
If not addressed, workplace stress can snowball into higher turnover rates, levels of employee burnout, absenteeism and lower levels of productivity.
Indeed, 49% of professionals identified their company’s output as high – with almost 1 in 5 noting it was of a low quality.
Martin comments: “Workplace stress is something everyone in a business has a hand in creating – however it is down to senior leaders, HR and line management, depending on organization size and reporting lines, to set the tone for how it is handled.
“Simple interventions such as making sure workloads are manageable, setting realistic deadlines and ensuring employees have access to support, safe spaces and relevant resources – can all help to alleviate pressure in the workplace as well as professionals’ day-to-day work life.”
Contact Georgia Peglar
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