Employer-Employee Disconnect on Workplace Stress

March 2, 2016

Willis Towers Watson employer surveys consistently find that stress is the number one workplace issue. In fact, according to researchers at Harvard and Stanford, at least 120,000 deaths each year can be attributed to workplace stress and stress accounts for up to $190 billion in health care costs annually. But while employers and employees can agree that stress is a major problem at work, they disagree on its causes.

In a recent bylined article for Employee Benefit News, Willis Towers Watson senior consultant Tom Davenport discussed recent survey findings and the sharp disconnect between the views of employers and employees. According to the 2015/2016 Towers Watson Staying@Work Survey, employers tended to identify issues related to organizational change as the top causes of stress. By contrast, employees pointed to their immediate work environment and company culture, according to the 2015/2016 Towers Watson Global Benefit Attitudes Survey.

Observing that until employers get in synch with employees on causes of stress, Davenport noted that employers are unlikely to be successful at making the changes required to address the problem. As a starting point, Davenport recommended employers take a close look at company culture and he offered advice on three primary areas of focus.

To learn more about the data and Davenport’s top recommendations, click here to read his article in EBN.

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