Leave your personal issues at home; leave your work issues at the office. Manage your stress level, roll with the punches.

How’s that working out?stress-of-change

Not good; not good at all. The American Psychological Association (APA) compiled the following facts about our (in)ability to manage:

  • Of the women and men surveyed, 1/4 have called in sick for a “mental health day.” (APA)
  • Every day, approximately one million U.S. employees miss work due to workplace stress. (American Inst. of Stress)
  • When workers take time off work due to stress or anxiety-related disorders, they average 21 days off the job.
  • American employees used almost 8.8 million sick days (2001) due to depression, either untreated or mistreated.

That illustrates the impact to the individual, but what of the company? The National Institute of Mental Health estimates the cost of lost workdays, attributed solely to depression, to be $23 billion annually. Almost 1,000 workers suffer a disabling injury every day, over a dozen will die. Distracted, depressed, disengaged…dangerous.

How can we better prepare and protect ourselves, and our employees? We can start with the admission that we are un-prepared for change. Marriage, divorce, relocation, death of a loved one, job loss, promotion, family “expansion,” financial responsibilities…the common thread? Change.

We can’t prevent the event, but we can prepare ourselves for the ability to deal with the inevitable occurrence of change in our lives. Turn the uncertainty of “what will happen?” into the certainty of “when will it happen.”

“Whit” is Founder of the HR Hardball™ movement. Read more about preparing for change.

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