Despite promising signs of economic recovery, many employees feel undervalued and stressed out at work and many are dissatisfied with aspects of their job, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association (APA). Conducted online on behalf of the APA by Harris Interactive between January 31 and February 8, 2011, the survey found that 36 percent of workers reported experiencing work stress regularly and almost half (49 percent) said low salary has a significant impact on their stress level at work.
Money may be on workers’ minds, but that isn’t the only reason the American workforce is unhappy. Employees also cited lack of opportunities for growth and advancement (43 percent), heavy workload (43 percent), unrealistic job expectations (40 percent) and long hours (39 percent) as significant sources of stress. Additionally, less than half of employees (43 percent) said they receive adequate non-monetary rewards and recognition for their contributions at work and only 57 percent reported being satisfied with their employer’s work-life practices. Just 52 percent of employees said they feel valued on the job, only two thirds reported being motivated to do their best at work and almost a third (32 percent) indicated that they intend to seek employment elsewhere within the next year.
“The recession, combined with the changing nature of work, may have forever altered the employee-employer relationship, but as a nation we can do better,” says David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, APA’s assistant executive director for marketing and business development.
“Creating a psychologically healthy workplace is good for employees and business results,” says Norman B. Anderson, PhD, chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association. “This is a growing trend and it is our hope that all organizations will eventually have some type of psychologically healthy workplace program.”