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How stress is damaging your business

Stressed workers are more likely to be looking for a new job in the next 12 months. Is your business lifting the burden or adding to it?

As part of its national workplace renewal campaign, global HR think-tank Reventure conducted research by surveying the views of more than 1,000 Australian workers. The Workplace Wellbeing report is the result of this work and shows that 85 per cent of workers believe employers are responsible for creating an environment that proactively addresses stress in the workplace.

The research unearthed some interesting insights into how Australian workers view wellbeing. For example, 77 per cent said wellbeing revolved around 'healthiness', while 73 per cent believe it is more closely aligned with 'happiness' and 44 per cent said wellbeing was synonymous with 'peace'.

Dr Lindsay McMillan was the lead researcher behind Workplace Wellbeing and said the results are a wake-up call for Australian businesses.

"These results should make all employers across Australia stand up and take notice," Dr McMillan said.

"Employers across the country are being sent a clear message from Australian workers: workplace stress is a significant issue and employers need to put in place strategies to address it.

"The risk for employers is clear, if they don't act, employees will walk."

Measuring wellbeing in the workplace can be difficult. However, 61 per cent of workers identified high team morale as the greatest indicator of employee wellbeing. 

Only a quarter of Australian workers believe the focus on wellbeing in the workplace is actually increasing. 

Interestingly, 21 per cent of workers surveyed are willing to sacrifice a promotion in order to obtain better wellbeing in the workplace. 

Other headline results from the Workplace Wellness survey include:

• 73 per cent of workers are stressed about work;

• 51 per cent of workers believe unrealistic workload expectations have the greatest negative
impact on wellbeing in the workplace;

• 25 per cent of Australian workers would sacrifice company perks for better wellbeing in their workplace;

• One in five would sacrifice a promotion (21 per cent) or a pay rise (19 per cent) for better
wellbeing; and

• Only one in 10 Australian workers (12 per cent) believe business decisions are made in the
best interest of the wellbeing of employees.

"These are concerning results, which clearly demonstrate that Australian workplaces need to engage in a meaningful and practical renewal process," Dr McMillan said.

"If these issues are not addressed, workers will continue to suffer and ultimately so will businesses."

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“Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain