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Managing Organizational Change And Stress In A Turbulent Environment

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Health care costs are skyrocketing. It is public knowledge that there is a correlation between disease and stress. In order to save money, many organizations are now implementing stress management programs. Most larger organizations already have some form of employee assistance or wellness program. Smaller organizations are following suit. It just makes good business sense. Businesses are realizing that “prevention” saves money in the long run. Organizations are even realizing that it makes sense to pay for addiction/recovery programs before an addicted employee gets to the stage of needing serious physical treatment or surgery. It also makes good sense to promote stress-relieving fitness programs, rather than waiting for an overworked, overstressed employee to need an expensive heart bypass operation.

And speaking of overworked, overstressed employees…who hasn’t heard of the Jet Blue flight attendant, Steven Slater? He has become a symbol for every fed-up, stressed-out worker in America. Fortunately, his heart didn’t blow up before he got out. Instead, after dealing with an unreasonable, rude passenger for the umpteenth time…he simply had enough after 20 years. He grabbed a beer and slid down the plane’s emergency exit chute. I cannot tell you how many stressed out people I meet in my work who wish they could slide down “an emergency chute.” This level of stress is all so avoidable if your organization has a wellness program. Every employee should know the help that is available before they find themselves in a crisis situation. Your organization might have a short-term counseling service available during off-hours at no charge to the employee or a 24 hour helpline. Fitness and wellness programs are often included in some prevention programs. There are even incentive programs that reward employees who make fitness a priority.

Take advantage of such a program if it is available. If your organization does not have such a program, you may want to propose one. Your health insurance provider will be able to supply the statistics about cost benefits. Take the initiative and help start your company’s wellness program. It may save your life.


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