Stress management key for employee engagement

A recently released survey of 16,000 employees by The Resilience Institute suggests that an integral change in approach to workplace stress can increase staff engagement and productivity.

A recently released survey of 16,000 employees by The Resilience Institute suggests that an integral change in approach to workplace stress can increase staff engagement and productivity.

The data was collected over three years from May 2011 to September 2014 and surveyed the employees of 250 companies both before and after engaging in resilience-based training. The results showed a direct correlation with greater wellbeing, such as a more energised body, and higher levels of engagement on the job with a greater sense of purpose. 

Stuart Taylor, Managing Director of The Resilience Institute (Australia), said the improvements were the result of a more holistic approach to employee wellbeing and that it’s time to re-evaluate the way workplace stress is viewed and treated.

“Since the 1980s, the general approach to mental health has been to manage stress; to eliminate and control factors such as workplace pressure and treat symptoms of depression, distress and vulnerability,” he explains. “What we are seeing is that it is more beneficial to teach employees how to master stress; how to transform debilitating negative stress into energising positive stress and integrate it into a more purposeful and engaged life. In this way we shift from a victim and sympathy model to an ownership and compassion model.”

According to figures from the Australian Psychology Association, the need for effective stress mastery is becoming more acute for Australian employees, with workplace wellbeing and job satisfaction scores dropping significantly year on year to 2013. 

“There is nothing wrong with stress” Taylor remarks. “Stress is inevitable and we need it to foster innovation, drive change and to ultimately thrive and be at our best. What companies should be focusing on is how to train employees to master that stress and use it to help them thrive in all facets of their life.”

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