Employee and employer stress disconnection

A study into workplace stress has found what has been termed ‘The Employer/Employee Disconnect’; management workers have a different view of what the main stressors at work are compared to what their employees think.

Towers Watson, human resource consultants, examined 5,070 employees who worked in large companies that hired a large number of people.

They found that those who held management positions thought that a lack of work/home life balance, inadequate staffing and expanded technology, such as mobile phones, that mean they can be contacted when they are out of office, are the top three stressors.

On the other hand, people who worked at the lower end of the companies said that low pay and a lack of pay increases, as well as unclear job expectations were in their top three stressors. However, they also felt that inadequate staffing was a big problem at work that caused stress, as their managers did.

This find is worrying because the disconnection means that any employer who tries to incorporate stress relieving techniques into the workplace could well target the wrong areas. For instance, they may reduce connecting employees to the workplace via things like mobile phones, but that would only help management and not the hundreds that they employ.

It was also found that only 5% of the workforce use stress management techniques brought in by their employers to help them cope, with the majority turning to out of work activities, like exercise, to cope, indicating that workplace stress relieving schemes are not effective in the companies that were studied.

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