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Friday, July 30, 2010

10 Symptoms of Workplace Stress

By: Dale Collie
It is no secret that stress and related disorders

are the most frequent cause of employee disability

(National Institute for Occupational Safety and

Health). As far back as 1992, a United Nations

report called job stress a "world wide epidemic.
Control of workplace stress is a leadership

responsibility. Good leaders who recognize the

symptoms of stress can control situations to

create more desirable workplaces and to improve

both productivity and the bottom line.
Corporate leaders who have served in the military

recognize employee stress when they observe

symptoms such as:
1 Anxiety
2 Indecisiveness
3 Irritability
4 Complaining
5 Forgetfulness
6 Loss of self confidence
7 Argumentativeness
8 Insomnia
9 Rapid emotional shifts
10 Physical exhaustion
Symptoms such as these cost companies billions of

dollars each year in health care costs,

absenteeism, accidents, quality control, personnel

turnover, and various interpersonal relationship

Some managers mistakenly try to control stressful

problems by increasing demands and supervising

details. Increased urgency and focus on details

typically generates even more stress. The problems

shift from slight distractions, such as back pain,

headaches, and inattention, to more drastic

reactions such as absenteeism and medical

problems, both good indicators that stress levels

need attention.
Just as in the Army, most business leaders must be

taught to manage stress and to observe for

negative stress reactions. All managers need to

understand the importance of positive stress in

maximizing accuracy and productivity. And they

need to know how to control the negative stress

for the benefit of those involved and the bottom

If you don't have qualified staff in your company,

outside consultants and trainers can help you

evaluate current stress levels and train everyone

involved. Remember, stress control is a

leadership responsibility.
Get my article about controlling the top ten

workplace stressors by sending blank email
Copyright 2005
You may edit this article for length or content

to fit your space and audience requirements and

publish electronically or in print free of charge.

Include my full byline and add a hyperlink

for web postings. When you publish, please send

a courtesy link or email to
Dale Collie (

speaker, author, and former US Army Ranger,

CEO,and professor at West Point. Selected by

"Fast Company" as one of America's Fast 50

innovative leaders. Author of "Frontline

Leadership: From War Room to Boardroom," and

"Winning Under Fire: Turn Stress into Success the

US Army Way." (McGraw-Hill)

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