People make up any organisation. From the front desk all the way up to the CEO, an organisation's success or failure lies directly in the hands of employees. An engaged customer service representative, smiling and friendly, efficient and knowledgeable adds value, and the disengaged, abrupt and irritable front desk manager loses business. We all recognise it, but what does it really meant to profitability?
Glassdoor data reported that within overall employee engagement in their thousands of organisations, only 22% of organisations felt they had achieved excellence. This year’s Global Human Capital Trends research shows that organizations’ ability to address the issues of engagement and culture has dropped by 14 percent since last year, illustrating how complex and stressful the work environment has become.
The American Workplace VII report highlights the following statistics regarding stress and workplace violence.
80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help.
14% felt like striking a coworker during the year but didn't
25% have felt like screaming or shouting because of work, 10% are concerned that someone at work could become violent.
9% are aware of an assault or violent act and 18% have experienced intimidation in the past year.
A subsequent 2000 Integra Survey reported that.
65% of workers said that workplace stress has caused difficulties.
10% said that the work in an atmosphere where physical violence has occurred because of job stress,
42% report that yelling and other verbal abuse is common
While these statistics are overwhelming, what is clear in the workplace, is that violence has become an increasingly serious problem
According to two separate studies the United States has the dubious distinction of having the highest crime rate in any industrialised nation. An average of 20 workers are murdered each week in the US making homicide the second highest cause of workplace deaths and the leading one for females. 18000 non fatal crime such as sexual or other assaults occur each week while the victim is working, or about 1 million per year. (AIS, 2017)
So what does this mean for the bottom line?
If we add up the costs of work stress related costs in the form of employee disengagement, absenteeism, medical costs and loss of productivity in our organisations we will find cause for concern.
An escalating highly stressed business, is simply not good business.
About the author: Anthea Van Der Pluym (BCom, MBA cum laude) has 20 years corporate business experience in the health, technology and education sectors, as well as 16 years experience reducing the impact of violence in society.
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