You’re no doubt aware that stress, personal or work-related, can harm employees’ attendance and productivity.

But did you know that stress can also create serious problems of conflict and disciplinary action for many employees?

That’s the finding of a recent study by Bensinger, DuPont & Associates, an employee assistance provider, which looked at what 24,000 EAP participants said about the effects of stress on them.

Disciplinary results
Some 9.8% of men and 4.4% of women said stress contributed to their doing things that resulted in discipline. This trend was very strong in employees aged 56-65 – with 15% of men and 6.6% of women reporting such problems.

Meantime, 3.3% of male employees and 4.1% of female employees reported that stress drove them into conflicts with managers. And 4.5% and 4.1%, respectively, reported conflict with co-workers triggered by stress.

Leading the list
As you might expect, poor concentration and work quality, along with absenteeism, led the list of stress effects for both men and women.

But given the somewhat surprising findings on stress and discipline, you may want to look again at the way you choose and impose disciplinary measures. Can you allow some “wiggle room” for employees who act up, or act out, when they’re under particular stress? Maybe, maybe not. But perhaps the question is worth asking.

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