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Why Lower STRESS Means Higher Returns


We work hard, and play hard. There’s a flip-side, however. It’s called stress.

We tend to accept this as a price of progress and profits. But it doesn’t have to be.

Stress is bad. Period. Bad for quality-of-life. Horrible for relationships. And lousy for the bottom line.

The Harvard Business Review (HBR), that bible of business case studies, reports that stress leads to a loss in productivity—and also results in something destructive called disengagement (Proof That Positive Work Cultures are More Productive, 2015.

Feeling “engaged” at work is a good thing—and is usually associated with feeling valued, secure, supported and respected. In short, it helps a company thrive. Conversely, disengagement—the reverse of engagement— is a tell-tale indicator of a high-stress, negative work culture.

And disengagement costs! Studies showed that disengaged or low-engagement workers had 37% greater absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors. And organizations with low worker-engagement had 18% lower productivity and 16% lower profitability. On the flip side, businesses with high-engagement employees garnered 100% more job applications!

So—how to promote a positive, fun (and profitable) workplace?

Here are four tried-and-tested approaches for your team, courtesy of the American Agents Alliance and its members:

Celebrate People.

Whether it’s a birthday, new baby, or a game of golf—personal recognition lifts the spirits and helps remind the team they are valued as people, not just workers.

Create a Fun-Plan.

If you don’t schedule fun, it can fall by the wayside. By officially working it into the schedule, employees can have fun without feeling like it’s an intrusion on work. Something as simple as a team lunch, for example, can be a great excuse to unwind.

Take Time to Relax.

Stressed-out people can find it hard to switch off, so incorporate downtime in the workday, and promote recreational activities—like a walking club, stretch class, or even a garden. Even a game of giant Jenga can be fun!

Get Into the Community.

By reaching out to the community, your team connects with customers in new ways, making for stronger and more productive relationships—both within the team and with your community. Participate in the high school bike-a-thon, bake pies for a fair, or have the boss shave their head for a cancer fundraiser.

And speaking of “being there for others,” your Credit Union has 80 years of Farmers agency expertise to help you take your business to the next level—including unmatched loans and service—all with less stress! You can call us anytime — 800.877.2345 — to speak with any of our member service representatives.

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