Magazine article Management Review

High Anxiety Can Lower Profits

Magazine article Management Review

High Anxiety Can Lower Profits

Article excerpt

HIGH ANXIETY CAN LOWER PROFITS

For years, your senior marketing analyst has been an ace performer: increasing division profits and putting in a 100 percent effort. But lately, he has been calling in sick and when he is there, his enthusiasm and concentration are absent. Perhaps he, as well as other employees, are suffering from stress. Everyone gets a little uptight or anxious from time to time. But when these symptoms overwhelm and start to interfere with job performance, then the matter has reached a critical stage.

Stress-related disorders cost American employers between $50 billion and $75 billion each year, according to The New York Business Group on Health Inc., which sponsored a recent conference on the impact of stress, anxiety and depression in the workplace. The financial loss comes in the form of absenteeism, reduced productivity and efficiency, morale problems, and alcohol and substance abuse. The number of days lost by employees suffering from stress-related disorders averages 16 each year, according to a national Gallup survey sponsored by The New York Business Group on Health with an educational grant from Upjohn. Also, an average of 11 percent of employees were reported to manifest mental health problems. So if your workforce is losing time or not performing up to par because of stress, you might want to take a closer look at the corporate environment to see where stress occurs and how to control it.

Too often, stress, anxiety and depression are typecast as negative and people are often hesitant to admit they have a problem. Oftentimes, management is unsympathetic or is unable to assist the suffering employee. Stress manifests itself in a multitude of symptoms: difficulty in concentrating; sleep disturbances; loss of energy; loss of interest in work; frequent absenteeism; nervousness; irritability; and fear. …

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