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Work Life Balance: High Stress Lowers Nurse Engagement, Increases Hospital Costs

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, January 22nd, 2015

Teaching effective work life balance techniques to nurses and healthcare workers is more important than ever – for their health and the hospital’s bottom line. When nurse engagement suffers, so does the budget. Employees suffering from high stress levels have lower levels of engagement, are less productive and have higher absenteeism than those not operating under excessive pressure, according to research from professional services firm Towers Watson.

nurse engagementAccording to Towers Watson’s Global Benefits Attitudes survey, workplace disengagement significantly increases when employees experience high levels of stress.

“A third of respondents said they are often bothered by excessive pressure in their job, and this can lead to higher instances of disengagement and absenteeism, clear indicators of low productivity in the workplace,” said Rebekah Haymes, senior consultant at Towers Watson

The research found that almost six out of 10 (57%) employees who claimed to be experiencing high stress levels also reported feeling disengaged. In contrast, only one in ten employees claiming low stress levels said they were disengaged and half of this group claimed to be highly engaged.

“This clearly shows the destructive link between high levels of stress and reduced productivity,” Haymes said.

Levels of absence are also influenced by stress, the research found. Highly stressed employees taking an average of 4.6 sick days per year compared to 2.6 days for low stress employees. ‘Presenteeism,’ attending work when unwell and unproductive, was 50% higher for highly stressed employees with an average of 16 days per year versus about 10 days for employees reporting low stress.

To promote lower stress environments in their workplaces, it’s critical to understand the causes of stress in organizations. Visit SelfCare for HealthCare™ for work life balance tools that combat high stress and contact me today to discuss how this program will skyrocket your nurse engagement.

One response to “Work Life Balance: High Stress Lowers Nurse Engagement, Increases Hospital Costs”

  1. good info thanks for sharing

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