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BW Businessworld

The Silent Killer At Work

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Fever and cough can be treated easily, but there is no remedy for stress.
More than 55 per cent of Indians in a survey said they faced excessive pressure in their jobs.
Top three reasons mentioned were: inadequate staffing, poor team working environment and unclear job expectations.
Anuradha Sriram, a director at Towers Watson, the American global professional services firm that conducted the survey last year, shares with BW Businessworld the top five things employers can do to ensure a happy workforce.
1. Companies should make efforts to understand what affects their employees. The survey done by Towers Watson found that discrepancy between employer and employee perceptions in the sources of stress. For instance, one of the top sources of stress employers felt was the access to mobile phones during working hours. However, employees felt the cellphone was the least cause of stress and it gave them the flexibility and let them work at their own pace.
2. Organisations have an accountability mechanism in place wherein they can make immediate managers accountable for the happiness quotient of their teams, instead of just focusing on their productivity.
3. Rederessal or coping mechanisms go a long way in ensuring employees get a voice in the company. Employers can try to understand the coping mechanisms employees have and try to incorporate that in the company’s culture. In the workforce study it was found that employees seek support from family and friends or get involved in physical activity to manage pressure.
4. There is a direct link between physical and emotional wellbeing and productivity. Research has shown employees who engage in physical activity are more resilient and are able to manage work pressures effectively. Companies can try to promote these activities by giving them access to gym or have working out classes in house.

5. Look at HR strategy at how leadership and performance is linked to rewards. Not having clarity of job responsibilities, performance and/or benefits can lead to additional anxiety in employees. Companies can put in processes to ensure job description is clear, performances are reviewed regularly, and there is clear communication how performance is linked to salary.

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