Stress, Friend or Foe?

Stress the normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upsets your natural balance in some way. It doesn’t sound like anything too harmful, does it? In fact, some stress is good for the body! There are some types that give off a sense of urgency in individuals. A sense of urgency is a necessity in the staffing industry. However, too much stress can be dangerous to one’s mental and physical health. According to Joel Goh, Harvard Business School assistant professor of business administration in the Technology and Operations Management unit, Stanford business professors Jeffrey Pfeffer and Stefanos A. Zenios, there are ten workplace stressors that cause a slew of negative reactions. These ten stressors are layoffs and unemployment, lack of health insurance, shift work, long working hours, job insecurity, work-family conflict, low job control, high job demands, low social support at work, and last but definitely not least, low organizational justice. These ten stressors seem like pretty typical work environments for the average American.

According to Forbes, General  Motors spent more money on healthcare costs than it did on steel in recent years in other words they spent more money on making sure their employees were covered rather than making new machinery. Obviously big business can afford to do this at times unlike smaller businesses that still want their employees to experience as little “bad stress” as possible. Most healthcare issues that come up in the work place are usually caused by severe stress. According to Goh, Pfeffer, and Zenios, work place stress contributes to about 120,000 deaths each year; job insecurity and high work demands contribute to about 30,000 of these deaths per year.

Now that we have put into perspective the number of lives that are lost each year due to work related stress, let’s put a dollar sign on the matter. According to Goh, Pfeffer. And Zenios work place stress cost large companies anywhere between $125 to $190 billion dollars a year, that amount represents 5% to 8% of the national spending on healthcare. With these two numbers it should go without saying that if we decreased the amount of stress we placed on our employee’s in the workplace we could decrease the number of deaths, as well as the amount of money we are spending on healthcare each year.

So what can companies who can’t afford to spend like General Motors do to minimize stress? Here at Results staffing we strive to achieve employee happiness. We want to make our company culture enjoyable and as stress free as possible. We have some basic programs for both internal staff and temporary employees to help cultivate that type of work environment. After all, studies show that employees who are happy are more productive.

For our temporary staff we have a company campaign that is ran and promoted by each branch called Keep It Super Safe (also known as K.I.S.S. ). This campaign helps promote safety awareness and incentivizes the workers to exhibit good safety habits in order to have a chance to win cash prizes and their own safety gear from the company.  We also have employee appreciation luncheons for them twice a year where we bring out the basketball games, burgers, hot dogs, soda and music. At these luncheons we typically raffle off prizes and recognize the outstanding performance of eligible workers. We also offer employee development programs to let our talent know there is always room and hope to grow with our company and many divisions.

For our internal staff we like to recognize outstanding performance by having an Employee of the Month program that has great rewards and incentives for those who qualify.  Annually, we hold a company holiday party where we recognize outstanding employees for the year and raffle off prizes. We also allow pivot career changes where employees who are interested in growth within the company can pursue it. Tuition reimbursement programs, paid vacation time, healthcare options and mentorship programs are just a few more benefits of working with Results Staffing.  We do our best to keep our employees happy and healthy. Their happiness and health is a top priority and we want to continue to ensure that we do all that we can to provide just enough stress to motivate urgency and good quality work. Anything more than that is a health risk we want to avoid.

About the Author: Carsyn Frazier is a senior kinesiology student at the University of Texas at Tyler. She plans to graduate in December 2015 with a bachelors of science. Following her graduation she will further her education by going to grad school to study physical therapy. For the last year, Carsyn has been working with Results Staffing to gain professional work experience and has learned that communication is the key to success in staffing!