Organizational Stress Assessment & Intervention
Excessive stress is the single greatest cause of mental and physical health problems in today’s modern workforce. How much is your company paying for the effect of stress on productivity and employee medical care?
The data-based business case for assessing and reducing the effects of organizational stress is compelling. In just one area, employee health, it’s been shown repeatedly that high-stress employees have significantly higher rates of:
- Heart and cardiovascular problems
- Anxiety, depression and demoralization
- Alcohol and prescription/over-the-counter drug abuse
- Susceptibility to a wide range of infectious diseases
- Back pain (up to 3 times higher)
- Repetitive strain injuries (up to 2.5 times higher)
Clearly, reducing excessive stress in an organization significantly reduces health care utilization and worker disability claims. But this is far from being a complete view of how stress weighs on an organization. A flood of information on the effects of workplace stress is available to executive management who then have to deal with the adverse impact of workforce stress on the bottom line.
So where is the stress coming from? A number of key workplace factors have been implicated in employee stress:
- Lack of influence over day-to-day work
- Overload and time pressures
- Lack of training and/or preparation
- Too little or too much responsibility
- Ambiguity in job responsibility
- Discrimination & Harassment
- Poor communication
- Poor management
- Neglect of legal and safety obligations
Matrix provides two high-impact organizational stress assessments:
“Corporate based stress management programs have two major disadvantages – the beneficial effects on stress symptoms are short-lived, and critical root causes (i.e., the upstream drivers) of organizational stress are typically ignored because the focus is on the employee and not the organizational environment.” – NIOSH, 1999
The good news is that at Matrix we utilize state of the art, research-based, psychometrically sound assessment tools — not just surveys or questionnaires — to rapidly evaluate stress conditions. Hard data describing the specific sources and stress “symptoms” affecting the organization is generated, along with measures of the workforce vulnerability to stress. We have the means to estimate the actual dollar costs of stress in your organization and, more to the point, rapidly and significantly reduce the adverse effects of stress. We get at the root causes of stress and give executives the data driven insights and tools needed to remedy the insidious effects of stress on their employees and bottom line.
Our organizational stress services are customized to match your organization’s culture and we can assist in follow-up design of wellness programs and stress reduction methods to improve overall employee satisfaction and well-being.
The Organizational Stress Profile (OSP) measures the root cause drivers and effects of stress at the organizational level. More importantly, it identifies the specific organizational interventions that will bring about the greatest reduction of employee stress. This helps the organization determine the most efficient use of available resources.
Administration of the Personal Stress Naviagator (PSN) (see INDIVIDUAL STRESS ASSESSMENT) to the workforce is the first step in gaining a complete look at stress within your organization. Individual results are then processed as group data to yield the Organizational Stress Report. The OSP serves as an MRI into the functioning of the organization and systematically identifies stress “hot spots” which are depleting the organization’s resources.
The wealth of knowledge about your organization and stress generated by the OSP makes it possible to identify specific methods to control the effects of stress on your company’s health, productivity and bottom-line. Following the organizational stress assessment, leaders of the organization are debriefed on the specific upstream drivers of workforce stress so they can generate an action plan and initiate precisely targeted efforts to remedy the situation. Our consulting expertise, in conjunction with the OSP, results in design of an action plan for ameliorating the adverse effects of organizational stress. The engagement process yields results that provide a basis for specific, data driven interventions, and the option of follow-up testing to evaluate the intervention and its cost-effectiveness is available.
Many of the country’s leading businesses, including Fortune 50 companies and a variety of mid-size organizations have utilized an OSP engagement to evaluate and control organizational stress. An Organization Stress Profile increases the value and competitiveness of your company’s intellectual capital by increasing organizational health and well being.
The state of the art Presenteeism Report provides previously unavailable data. It serves as the starting point for remediation of organizational stress that will directly and quickly affect bottom line numbers. It provides data that every CFO finds invaluable, and specifically shows the dollar price your organization is paying for workforce stress.
The term “presenteeism” was coined in the 1990s by Professor Cary Cooper, Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Manchester University in the United Kingdom. It has come to refer to workers being physically present on the job but functioning below capacity.
It yields suffering from burnout and exhaustion and who are under functioning due to health problems, work and life distractions, office politics, entitlement and related issues. And more importantly is shows how much your company has to gain from addressing the specific results described in detail in the report.
While the costs of absenteeism are more easily measured, data based estimates place the costs of presenteeism at up to 32 times that of absenteeism. The Presenteeism Report takes PSN data gathered from employees and uses state of the art, proprietary analysis to determine the dollar costs of presenteeism in the organization. It evaluates six components of stress related presenteeism ( burnout, physical health, mental health, work distractions, life distractions and entitlement) and calculates the dollar costs to the organization.
The Presenteeism Report is also an effective measure of employee engagement, a factor that is essentially the inverse of presenteeism. Essentially, an engaged employee does not contribute to organizational presenteeism.
If you have concerns about the employee engagement, the Presenteeism report will measure it and determine the dollar costs involved. It will also calculate the costs of the six component of presenteeism that can be attributed to stress.