A new study conducted by human resources experts at the University of Portsmouth Business School has confirmed what many employees already feel - business don't really care how constant change impacts on and increases the stress levels of their staff.
Researchers at the university Mr Rees and Ms Rumbles, argue in their small-scale study that while many organisations have serious concerns about the impact change is having on their business, very few were worried about employees or their welfare. They go on to say that this is not only detrimental to their staff, but is a direct cause of business failure.
Employers and senior managers need to stop foisting continual change upon their staff in a bid to stay viable as a business. The secret is not to ignore the fact change can threaten the staff who, in turn, can become exhausted, cynical or depressed, which destabilises the organisation."
The study of 20 senior human resources practitioners at companies employing more than 100 people also found that senior executives are embarrassed at high levels of employee stress within their organisations but also, that many don’t care if employees are burning out. Burning out includes emotional exhaustion (loss of energy, feeling worn out and powerless), cynicism (negative attitude, distancing and irritability), and low personal accomplishment (feelings of incompetence, low assertiveness, low self-esteem, ineffectiveness and cognition focused on failure). All types of staff 'burnouts' have been found to have increased since the economic crisis that started in 2007, and prompted businesses to implement significant changes repeatedly during the ongoing downturn.
Rumbles added that:
In the UK, the cost of sickness absence due to mental ill health alone is estimated by NICE to be £28bn a year. Businesses attitudes towards staff wellbeing are doing little to tackle this staggering figure.