Employers not Stressed about Stress

February 14, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - While workplace stress is the most frequently cited reason U.S. employees consider leaving their jobs, few employers are taking steps to address it, according to two surveys by Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

Nearly half of U.S. employers (48%) surveyed said stress caused by working long hours is affecting business performance; however, only 5% are addressing this concern, according to a Watson Wyatt press release. Its 2007/2008 Staying@Work report indicates that 32% of employers recognize stress caused by work/life balance issues are affecting business performance, but only 16% are taking strong action to remedy this.

Additionally, more than one-quarter (29%) of employers polled said they believe stress caused by technology such as cell phones and personal digital assistants that increase availability is greatly affecting business performance, but only 6% are confronting the issue. Even stress caused by managers’ inability to recognize workplace stress was cited as affecting business performance by 24% of employers, with only 7% of employers indicating they are addressing this problem.

Meanwhile, 40% of employees responding to Watson Wyatt’s 2007/2008 Global Strategic Rewards report said stress is one of their top three reasons for leaving a job. However, stress was not among the top five most cited reasons employers think workers leave. Employers listed insufficient pay, lack of career development, and poor supervisor relationships as the top three.

More information on the reports can be found at http://www.watsonwyatt.com/research/reports.asp .