Workplace stress is at an all-time high and those in the tech and IT industry are shouldering more than most.
According to Gartner, Inc., by 2025, nearly half of cybersecurity leaders will change jobs, 25% for different roles entirely due to multiple work-related stressors. Employee burnout and anxiety are leading to record attrition rates, and organizations that rely on the knowledge and dedication of their workforce are facing a significant threat to their security teams.
Although many of these companies know that workplace stress is an issue, often it can be considered an individual issue, not something the company itself needs to change. Or if a company does want to address stress, they aren’t sure how to diagnose, make changes and measure that change. That’s where stress assessments and workshops can help to give good data and actionable steps to make an impact.
But first, let’s talk about the issues that cause stress in tech organizations.
The damage of workplace stress when left unaddressed
When employees experience stress, it can have a significant impact on the organization as a whole. Prioritizing the wellbeing of employees by taking steps to manage stress levels is critical for organizations, and leaders, who wish to create a healthier and more productive workforce. Workplace stress can cause:
- Burnout: a common result of prolonged stress, can cause employees to feel exhausted and disengaged from their work. This can lead to decreased productivity, lower morale, and increased absenteeism.
- Attrition: employees who experience high levels of stress are more likely to leave their jobs, seeking opportunities with better work-life balance or lower stress levels.
- Work Quality: when employees are stressed, they may make mistakes, miss important details, or fail to take necessary precautions, leading to an increased risk of errors.
- Security Threats: employees who are stressed and burnt out are less likely to follow security guidelines and protocols leading to a higher risk of data breaches.
Security threats are especially concerning for the IT and cybersecurity sector where insider threats such as data theft, sabotage and malicious activity require constant vigilance from employees. Mismanagement of critical security tasks can lead to data breaches and compromise an organization’s sensitive data which could easily result in fines, penalties and punitive consequences.
Diagnosing stress through assessments
Workplace stress can be a complex issue that manifests in different ways depending on the individual and the organization. Without a proper diagnosis, it can be difficult to determine the root cause of workplace stressors. For example, you may not be aware of which departments or roles are most affected, what specific stressors are present, or how stress impacts individual or team performance. Without this information, any solution or intervention implemented may be ineffective or even counterproductive, as they may not address the underlying causes. Not to mention, without a clear understanding of the problem, it can be challenging to measure the effectiveness of any interventions.
Assessments, like the TTI SI assessment offered by ORCA, are powerful tools that can diagnose issues like stress on an individual, team or organizational level. This allows for real data that can give companies a baseline of where they are at now as well as showing improvements over time. As we all know, without data and measurable results, C-suite leaders and board members are less likely to take action.
Addressing stress individually for leaders
Leaders who take an active role in managing stress at their organization create a more positive and productive work environment that benefits not only their team but the organization as a whole. When leadership is involved it sends a clear message to staff that their wellbeing is a top priority, leading to increased engagement and a more positive work culture. However, our philosophy is that leaders must show by example and manage their own wellbeing first before they can help others. Actions from leadership trickle down and sets the tone for the whole organization.
That’s why helping leaders identify their individual stressors is vital to the organization as a whole.
When working with ORCA, the TTI SI Assessment is paired with ORCA 4 A’s of Conscious Leadership framework so leaders can identify their stressors and take action to solve them.
Diagnosing stress within teams and organizations
Similarly, assessment can also be utilized to diagnose workplace stressors within teams or in the organization as a whole. Organizations can:
- Determine how stress is impacting productivity
- See if work demands are spurring discontent
- Uncover unresolved issues across teams
- Have the prompts to address stress head-on
This helps companies then implement programs and actions to reduce the specific stressors that are most important.
Companies that proactively address and effectively manage workplace stress are seen as more attractive places to work and will help retain and attract great talent.
Get a sneak peek.
With stress being such an issue for many of our clients, we’ve created some additional free resources so you can learn more about how to actionably diagnose and manage stress in your organization.
I’ve created a free 15 minute mini-course on 7 ways you can diagnose organizational stress—AND 7 ways to actionably address that stress, now.
In just a few minutes, I’ll give you an overview of:
- Why stress management is important for organizations
- The 7 factors of stress in the workplace
- How to measure the 7 factors of stress individually, as a team, and as an organization
- Determining actions to manage and address organizational stress
Once you’ve completed the mini-course, you’ll also have access to try out the TTI SI Assessment for free. This way you can see what’s included in the report and experience the value it can provide for your organization.
Get access to the mini-course and your free assessment here.