It's Official, We Are Stressed at Work. But Some Companies Try to Change That

Stressed at Work Almost half of us are bummed out about our low salaries, and a third of us are stressed out at work in general. Those are the further stress-inducing findings of a Harris Interactive survey conducted on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA).

The survey, conducted just last month, found that 36 percent of workers reported experiencing work stress regularly and almost half (49 percent) said low salary has a significant impact on their stress level at work.

But money isn't the only reason the American work force is unhappy. Employees also cited lack of opportunities for growth and advancement (43 percent), heavy workload (43 percent), unrealistic job expectations (40 percent) and long hours (39 percent) as significant sources of stress.

What's more, just 52 percent of employees said they feel valued on the job, only two thirds reported being motivated to do their best at work, and almost a third (32 percent) indicated that they intend to seek employment elsewhere within the next year. Who knew there were so many malcontents?

"The recession, combined with the changing nature of work, may have forever altered the employee-employer relationship, but as a nation we can do better," says David W. Ballard, APA's assistant executive director for marketing and business development. His organization has singled out a number of organizations that do substantially better, and given them Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards. These organizations include:

  • Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon & Galchus (Arkansas)
  • eXude Benefits Group (Pennsylvania)
  • San Jorge Children's Hospital (Puerto Rico)
  • First Horizon (Tennessee)
  • Northeast Delta Dental (New Hampshire)
  • Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Northwest (Oregon)
  • The MITRE Corporation (Virginia)
  • the City of Grand Prairie (Texas)

These employers won the awards because, among other things, they reported an average turnover rate of just 11 percent in 2010 -- significantly less than the national average of 38 percent as estimated by the U.S. Department of Labor. Also, only 18 percent of employees reported experiencing chronic work stress compared to 36 percent nationally, and 87 percent of employees reported being satisfied with their job vs. 69 percent in the general population. Additionally, only 6 percent said they intend to seek employment elsewhere within the next year, compared to 32 percent nationally.

Next:Is the Stress of Your Job Killing You?

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