The Cost of Stress: 3 Things Every Company Should Know

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--()--Harvard University professor and Cangrade’s Senior Vice President Dr. Greg Willard completed an extensive review of the causes of workplace stress and identified 3 major insights. This research provides simple ways to reduce stress in the workplace.

“Work can be stressful,” said Dr. Willard. “A recent list of the most stressful jobs in 2013 shows some that we might expect: military personnel, police, firefighters, airline pilots, taxi drivers, journalists, reporters, and some corporate executive roles. These jobs tend to involve major stressors such as physical danger, separation from family, long hours, or intense public scrutiny, but there’s much more to stress at work than you might have guessed,” added Dr. Willard.

1. Most people are stressed about work, and it hurts productivity

Research by the American Psychological Association (APA) has consistently shown that stress negatively affects the health and wellbeing of about 70-75% of Americans.

The majority of employees report that stress contributes to workplace difficulties including difficulty concentrating, poor work quality, conflicts with coworkers, and tardiness or absenteeism.

Nearly 60% of employees report recently quitting their job, or considering a new job because of stress.

2. Money matters

These APA studies find that the leading cause of stress at work is low salary, and the second-leading cause of overall life stress among Americans is money. Although more money does not increase job satisfaction, not enough money can create significant workplace stress.

This suggests a new way of thinking about employee compensation. Simply paying employees more money can itself increase productivity on the job. Not because money is greater compensation for greater productivity per se—but rather because the employer has effectively alleviated the most prevalent source of stress. “The payoff could be similar, or even greater, than the old way of thinking,” said Dr. Willard.

Providing employees with greater financial and job security can create an atmosphere that supports another well-known but elusive benefit: having employees who are not afraid to “speak up” at work when they see problems or have potentially important ideas.

3. Motivation is very easily undermined

In today’s workplace landscape the competitive edge desired by more and more companies comes from employees that are passionate, creative and innovative.

Employees know the difference between working because they are focused on achieving an important goal, and simply working because they will receive a reward for their work. External rewards such as the prospect of financial bonuses and raises are very weak motivators. In fact, they often discourage employees from working as hard as they might have if there was no such reward. Research shows that paying a higher salary upfront is a more potent approach.

“The major takeaway form this research is that salary should be considered an investment, not a cost. Research shows that paying employees just a little more can greatly reduce stress and negative workplace outcomes. Investing in employees, rather than paying a cost for the work that they produce, promotes passion, creativity and innovation in the workplace,” said Michael Burtov, Cangrade’s CEO.

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About Cangrade

Cangrade’s team of psychologists analyzed the personality, skills, motivation and performance of over 200,000 employees from over 500 companies and developed a breakthrough platform to organize, track and evaluate your candidates, collaborate with co-workers, set-up intelligent hiring criteria and use it all on your computer, smartphone or tablet.

We are also proud to power industry leading sales training tools that assess, benchmark, coach, engage, and train sales reps for some of the most successful organizations in the word.


Michael Burtov, 888-871-8778, ext. 8

Release Summary

Harvard University professor and Cangrade’s Senior Vice President Dr. Greg Willard completed an extensive review of the causes of workplace stress and identified 3 major insights


Michael Burtov, 888-871-8778, ext. 8