For those of us that take a holistic approach to wellbeing, it is pretty common knowledge that a positive attitude can lead to greater mental, emotional, and even physical wellness. However, these benefits don’t stop with personal health. Ongoing research continues to show that creating a positive work culture improves employee performance, productivity, and lowers healthcare costs.
The Costly Effects of an Unengaged Workforce
Too often employers - and even employees themselves - equate a high-pressure, high-stakes environment with one that enables bigger work achievements and improved employee output and performance. Unfortunately, any extra progress made through longer hours, rigid performance standards, strict managers, or an overly competitive atmosphere might be lost due to the negative impacts of this strategy. Some of the unintended consequences of a high-pressure work culture include increased employee stress, disengagement, and a lack of loyalty.
Statistics provided by The Gallup Organization
This type of stress directly leads to a substantial decrease in employee health and wellbeing and an increased risk for problems like metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease; with that, comes a need for more medical interventions.
The American Psychological Association estimates that 550 million workdays plus $500 billion from the US economy are lost each year due to workplace stress. High-pressure companies spend nearly 50% more on employee healthcare costs than other companies do. This also contributes to performance errors and serious workplace safety issues, with stress contributing to somewhere between 60% and 80% of on-the-job accidents.
Long-term, these cut-throat work environments correlate to disengagement from employees. Of course, there are some people that may thrive off this kind of atmosphere and even feel more engaged by the challenge. Still, this is not something that inspires the majority of workers nor supports long-term engagement.
Finally, workplace stress accounts for a large percentage of voluntary turnover. This creates significant costs for employers that need to recruit more often and train new employees frequently, not to mention additional decreases in productivity due to lost expertise. According to the Center for American Progress, replacing just one employee costs about 20% of that employee’s salary.
A Positive Strategy with Big Benefits
One of the best features of creating a positive work culture is that it doesn’t require a large number of resources to get started. Meaningful interactions, compassionate leaders, and social connections are a crucial part to fostering good co-worker relationships, lowering employee stress levels, and boosting happiness and productivity. Here are some examples to get you started:
Genuinely value employee health and wellbeing.
After several stressful year of pandemic restrictions, economic struggles, health fears, and political conflicts, a positive work culture could be the key that keeps employee's afloat and maintains optimal productivity levels for your organization.
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