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Stress Reduction in the Workplace

Defining Stress

Stress is the result of conflict between the demands of life and our ability to deal with those demands. Situations that create stress are as individual as we are. However, family, finances, and work are commonly listed by adults as the primary stressors in their lives.

Stress and the Employer

The impact of stress on American business and industry is substantial:

  • Job stress is estimated to cost companies approximately $80 billion annually, due to absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover, and accidents, as well as medical, legal, and insurance costs.
  • The National Safety Council estimates that one million employees are absent on an average workday as a result of stress-related problems.
  • Forty percent of worker turnover is due to job stress. It costs a company approximately $13,000 to replace the average employee.
  • Sixty to 80 percent of on-the-job accidents are stress-related.
  • Workers' compensation awards for job stress have skyrocketed in the last two decades, with double digit increases in premiums. Nine out of 10 job stress suits are successful, with an average payout more than four times that for regular injury claims.

Stress and the Employee

The impact of stress on the mental and physical health of employees is also significant:

  • Eighty-nine percent of adults report experiencing "high levels of stress," many of them citing their jobs as major contributors to their stress.
  • An estimated 75 percent of visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related problems.
  • As many as 80 percent of on-the-job accidents are stress-related.
  • Recent research confirms the role played by stress in cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal, skin, neurologic and emotional disorders, and a host of disorders linked to immune system disturbances.

University Hospital's Workplace Stress Reduction Program

There are basically two ways to deal with stress: 1) to change our environment; 2) to change how we deal with stress. It may not be possible to eliminate stress in the work environment, but it is possible to help employees deal with it. University Hospital's Workplace Stress Reduction Program helps participants learn to manage stress, making them happier and more productive employees. The program is based on the principal of mindfulness. The premise of mindfulness is that a situation in and of itself does not cause stress—it is how we interpret and deal with the situation that determines whether or not we experience stress.

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Who Teaches the Program?

Employees may enroll in our Mindful Living and Stress Reduction Program, taught by Pauline Cecere, LCSW. Worksite programs are offered.

Choose from introductions, to half or full day seminars, to a comprehensive program meeting weekly for 8 weeks. For more information, contact Pauline Cecere at 315 655-3066 or email her at paulinec@frontiernet.net.

Is the Program Effective?

Participants in the comprehensive 8 week program report fewer absences from work and fewer visits to physicians and emergency rooms. They also report an increased ability to relax, greater energy and enthusiasm for life, and improved self esteem. Once learned, stress reduction skills can be used for a lifetime.

Who Benefits from the Program?

Employees benefit by:

  • Learning how to handle job-related stress more effectively.
  • Reducing stress in their personal lives.
  • Enhancing their ability to concentrate and focus on tasks.

Employers benefit by:

  • Reducing absenteeism, on-the-job accidents, and job turnover.
  • Promoting the well being and productivity of their employees.
  • Improving interaction and conflict resolution among workers.
  • Motivating employees to take better care of themselves and their health.
  • Reducing the need for medical care and health insurance claims.