As if we needed yet more evidence that stress is one of the biggest problems in the modern workplace, here comes a study that makes a direct link between stress and disengagement from work.
Disengagement, to put it bluntly, means employees finding it hard to be motivated to do anything at work. It is different from laziness, for example, because lazy people can potentially enjoy their work. Disengaged people simply don’t care about the work they do. For an employer, this is a ticking bomb.
Professional services company Towers Watson commissioned the study, and it found that 57% of people with high stress levels are disengaged at work. This is an incredible figure, and shows that the problem is widespread. Everyone has some sort of stress at work, so this kind of result shows that there will be some impact across a workforce to some degree, even if someone is feeling mild stress. It all adds up, on other words.
Rebekah Haymes perhaps best sums it up best in this article when she says:
“These can be specific areas that are not immediately visible to management if good communication and feedback structures are not in place throughout the organisation,”
Communication is key
Communication, as always, is key. If you are an employer it may be worthwhile looking at your communication processes, and finding ways to ensure that stress does not become a workplace issue. The last thing you want is disengaged workers, because that can only ever mean one thing in the end. You will lose out on productivity, and you will lose out on revenue.
Sometimes it is just good to talk, in other words. Have regular meetings with employees and updates on projects, so that you can spot the warning signs of stress. Apart from the human aspect of helping another person who is in trouble; you will also stand a better chance of reversing a worrying trend towards disengagement.