More employees are experiencing stress in the workplace.
In one study, it was estimated that 80 percent of American workers feel stress while on the job. There are various causes identified. The workload is, by far, the biggest factor behind workplace stress, with almost half of respondents (46 percent) naming it as the primary cause. Others experience stress because of issues with their co-workers (28 percent) and juggling work and personal life (20 percent). A small but significant portion feels stress because of a lack of job security (6 percent).
The Problem with Stress
Stress is an ongoing issue among working adults around the world, and it is creating adverse effects on their health. Those who are experiencing high levels of stress regularly are prone to burnout, anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders. They are also at a higher risk of high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, heart attack, and stroke.
Moreover, these factors affect their productivity at work. Stress in the workplace can lead to absenteeism and presenteeism, increased accident and injury rates, and higher turnover—all of which cost the company a lot.
But, there is a way to counter the impacts of workplace stress, and it benefits the company, too.
Employee Training Program to Counter Stress
A report conducted by Udemy found that providing engaging learning opportunities can decrease workplace stress. Employers who want to adopt a program to lower employee stress can kill two birds with one stone by creating a program in which workers can gain new and improve existing skills.
Learning can be therapeutic. Gaining a new skill or knowledge boosts feelings of self-worth. It makes a person more competent and capable of achieving their goals. It also gives them a sense of growth and development instead of being stagnant and stuck with the same fixed capabilities.
Moreover, learning can equip a person with skills and knowledge that can help them ease an ongoing personal or professional problem. Rest, which is one way to address workplace stress, is only a temporary solution. After spending a weekend outside of the office, the employee will have to face the exact same stressors, and the cycle will begin all over again. With learning, the employee might gain a valuable tool that will help them better manage their workload, have more meaningful interaction with co-workers and clients, have a more balanced work-life quality, and maybe get a promotion or look for more stable employment.
Developing an Employee Learning Program
There are multiple methods to enable employee learning. Instructor-led, for example, is the traditional type where a teacher presents the material to employees in a classroom. This method is highly effective for more complex topics, and there are opportunities for employees to ask their questions or clarify a point to a highly skilled teacher. The teacher can also recommend additional resources so employees can dive deeper into the subject in their own time.
Lecture-type learning, on the other hand, is less personal than instructor-led training, but it can deliver information to a larger crowd. In this method, the instructor will speak in front of a group of employees. This is usually held in a big venue. The company can work with an event-venue contractor to find a suitable venue, one that will help reduce stress during the lecture.
There are also group activities and discussions that are facilitated by human resources or an outsider. This method is ideal for challenges or tasks that require collaboration.
But, employees can also learn on their own and in their own time. So much learning can be done through reading. Providing a handbook or case studies for employees to peruse whenever they want and at their own pace can be effective, too. They would not have an expert to speak to, unlike in an instructor-led program, but it can still provide necessary knowledge and instructions.
Finally, there is eLearning. Nowadays, people can access training through a smartphone or laptop. They are given access to online videos, further reading materials, and online tests to guarantee that they will retain the information they gain.
eLearning has a solid instructional design strategy to make it both engaging and effective. Moreover, employees have the option to learn whenever they have free time, allowing them to both work and upskill.
Employers gain when employees are not experiencing high levels of stress. Workers are productive, absenteeism and presenteeism are reduced, there are lower rates of illnesses and injuries, and turnover is decreased. By providing opportunities to learn, they can ensure lower levels of stress in the workplace.