Nowadays, many companies put as much pressure as possible on their employees in order to achieve high levels of performance, although this level of pressure often has the opposite effect in regards to the productivity of employees. Meanwhile, many studies have shown that a positive work environment has an advantageous effect for all involved. Not only does this mean improved health for employees as well as managers, including a general sense of wellbeing, but the overall productivity throughout the company can also benefit greatly from positive work environments.
The assumption that stress and pressure can motivate employees towards real excellence hasn't been confirmed in practice. Quite to the contrary. Many companies that are known for their tough working conditions have forgotten about the hidden costs that arise from such a harsh corporate culture that is not very employee-friendly.
Too Much Stress And Pressure Lead To Hidden Costs
As the level of pressure increases within a company, employee health is increasingly suffering. More employee absences thus have a financial impact on the company's profit. Dramatic figures have been published in the US. Every year, 550 million working days are lost due to too much stress as well as the health issues that are related to such high levels of stress. Hardly any company can afford such losses.
In addition, stress only leads to better performance for a limited period of time. After all, too much pressure and too little relief increase the likelihood of decreasing employee engagement in the long term. This is a natural process, which is activated as part of the natural self-protection mechanism of most employees. After all, the human body knows its limits and can only take so much.
Decreased employee engagement also entails other ugly effects: Employees make more mistakes, are absent from the workplace more often, and will even get into accidents more frequently, as recent studies have shown in the United States. This is not in the interest of companies either. In this context, US studies have shown that this can lead to up to 18 percent less productivity and up to 16 per cent less profitability.
Additionally, all businesses that have previously relied on a corporate culture of as much pressure as possible need to furthermore bear in mind that the loyalty of their employees is also suffering in such an environment. As a result, the number of voluntary job changes increases by up to 50 per cent. A voluntary job change from one company to the next is costly for the company that the employee leaves behind and can lead HR costs to unnecessarily skyrocket.
There Is No Way Around A Positive Corporate Culture
Less stress and more employee wellbeing are thus in the interest of businesses if they want to achieve greater levels of productivity and avoid the hidden costs of too much pressure. It is not sufficient if employees benefit from flexible working hours or free fruit and drinks, for example. A positive corporate culture is irreplaceable because it has the greatest possible impact on the wellbeing of employees.
When asked, the vast majority of employees have even specified that their wellbeing at work was more important to them than any kind of non-monetary benefits, such as free fruit or a game room. If the employees in a company have a sincere interest in each other, support each other, inspire each other and treat each other with respect—and especially if this way of interacting with one another is also exemplified by the management team, the company as a whole is primed to succeed.
If a culture of forgiveness and positive relations between all employees dominates within a company, and employees are given the space to be able to voice their problems and grievances, this will have a very positive impact on the wellbeing of all involved as well as overall productivity and sales figures.