Stressed Employees Need HR Resources, Boundaries

Lena J. Weiner, March 17, 2014

While most human resource professionals are good listeners and genuinely want to help employees struggling with the stresses of balancing work and life, they cannot take on the role of a mental health provider.

Americans seem to be more stressed out than ever before. Lack of job security, decreased compensation, and increased workloads are pervasive across most industries. But is it the responsibility of human resources professionals to step in and help employees de-stress, and if so, how far should they go?

Healthcare workers are especially vulnerable, in part due to industry consolidation, pressure from eroding reimbursements, and seismic changes 'introduced by the PPACA, including the push for implementation of EHR systems and the transition to ICD-10. All of these stressors come in addition to the already highly emotional nature of helping the sick and injured.

A February 2014 study by MiracleWorkers.com and Career Builder found that healthcare workers are the most stressed workers in America. Seven out of 10 (69%) of employees said they're "stressed" and 17 percent said they're "highly stressed." By contrast, in manufacturing, an industry that has seen many losses in recent decades, only 55 percent of respondents said they were "stressed" and 10 percent "highly stressed."

Lena J. Weiner

Lena J. Weiner is an associate editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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