For Pinoys, this is the leading cause of stress at work – survey
MANILA, Philippines – Stress is part of the job, it goes without saying. But another cause of friction at work, often unarticulated, comes when employees' expectations aren't aligned with the company's.
This often leads to mismatched policies, and a general employer-employee distance and disconnect that can be detrimental to morale and productivity.
This is highlighted in a new study from multinational consulting firm Willis Towers Watson.
Notably, the survey digs into the various sources of stress faced by employees – and whether or not employers are on the same page.
In the Asia-Pacific region, a leading cause of stress named by employers is low pay – but employers ranked this 10th in a number of identified stress-causing factors.
See the table below to observe the disparity:
Company culture also ranks highly among employees' concerns – but ranks 8th from employers' perspectives.
"Technology that expands a workday," like email or other chat apps used for work, was one of the items that ranked highly for employers. It isn't in the top 10 for employees in Asia, ranking at #11.
According to the study, specific to the Philippines, the country follows the Asia-Pacific trend, with low pay being the primary cause of stress.
"Clearly there are a number of employees who are dealing with financial challenges where employers might be able to help beyond increases in pay. The good news is, there is a growing interest from employers in the Philippines to educate and encourage employees in adopting a financial well-being strategy," says Susan La Chica, Head of Health and Benefits for the Philippines at Willis Towers Watson.
According to the Labor Force Survey (LFS) released by the Philippine Statistics Authority in March, the Philippines has an employment rate of 94.2% as of January 2016, but the underemployment rate has worsened to 19.7% from 17.9% in the previous year.
According to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), there are about 7.7 million underemployed Filipinos, most of whom are wage and salary workers in private establishments.
More health issues
Aside from stress, the study also mentions workforce issues that adversely impact employee health and well-being.
In Southeast Asia, stress (56%) was the #1 answer when employers were asked, "To what extent are each of the following an issue for your workforce?"
Lack of physical activity followed (52%), along with being overweight/obese (40%), tobacco use (33%), and lack of sleep (33%).
The Willis Towers Watson study does highlight the importance of having health and well-being programs that are relevant to the employees, but it also lists several reasons why this has not yet been achieved at optimal levels. In Southeast Asia, the top reasons include lack of evidence on returns (36%), lack of budget/staff (28%), lack of engagement (27%), lack of manager support (25%), and lack of actionable data (25%).
There were 1,669 employers who participated in the 2015/2016 Willis Towers Watson Staying@Work Survey, conducted May to July 2015 across North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific.
From the Philippines, 91 companies participated; in Asia, aside from the Philippines, reps from China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam also answered the survey.
Looking out for you
So as an individual contributor, what can be done to improve this for yourself?
Communication with a manager is key, as is being self-aware about the potential areas for miscommunication when it comes to the topic. The table above might work as a jump-off point to pinpoint which among the array of factors most contributes to your own causes of stress at work.
Making sure that you and your boss are on the same page on this paves the way for better discussions when it comes time to talking about performance.
Do you identify with the issues discussed above? What's your leading cause of stress at work and what do you do to fight it? Let us know in the comments below. – Rappler.com
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