A growing concern leading to turnover and resignation, ETHRWorld


<p>Dr Indira Sharma, Faculty (HR & OB), Symbiosis University of Applied Sciences, Indore</p>
Dr Indira Sharma, Faculty (HR & OB), Symbiosis University of Applied Sciences, Indore

In today’s fast-paced world, employees are increasingly juggling satisfaction and dissatisfaction, leading to a stressful and often depressed life. There’s a common perception that wealth equates to happiness, but this philosophy is frequently challenged. As my mentor often reminded me, true happiness doesn’t stem from financial success aloneā€”a lesson I have come to appreciate deeply.

The Reality of Workplace Pressure

Workplace pressure and competition have increased exponentially, severely impacting individuals’ mental health. Studies have shown that stress at work is linked to numerous health issues, including increased rates of heart attacks and early-age deaths. The American Psychological Association reports that chronic stress can lead to long-term health problems such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.

The financial implications are equally concerning. The rising cost of medical expenses further burdens the earning members of the family, adding to their stress and anxiety. A report from the American Institute of Stress highlights that workplace stress costs US employers an estimated $300 billion annually in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, and medical, legal, and insurance costs.

In India, the situation is no different. A study by Optum, a health services innovation company, revealed that 46% of the Indian workforce suffers from some form of stress. The same study found that the financial cost of this stress is significant, with Indian companies losing approximately Rs 1.1 lakh crore (about $15 billion) annually due to poor employee health and productivity losses.

The Mismanagement of Mental Health

Traditional management often focuses on balancing material resources, but modern organizations must recognize the importance of mental health and emotional wellbeing. Neglecting these aspects leads to an imbalanced work environment, where employees become overwhelmed and eventually resign. The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes that promoting mental health at work is crucial for enhancing productivity and reducing turnover rates.

Employees burden themselves with excessive workloads, leading to burnout and job dissatisfaction. As a result, they leave their jobs in search of a less stressful environment, only to encounter similar issues elsewhere. This cycle of job dissatisfaction and frequent job changes highlights the urgent need for effective stress management strategies in the workplace.

Retention Issues and Short-term Fixes

High employee turnover is a significant challenge for many organizations. Employees frequently change jobs, hoping to escape their stressors, but without addressing the root causes of their stress, they find themselves in similar situations. Short-term fixes like pay raises or superficial perks are not enough. Companies must adopt long-term solutions that prioritize mental health and create supportive environments.

Investing in Mental Health

Understanding the concept of investment in mental health is essential. Just as financial investments yield returns, investing in employees’ wellbeing leads to a more productive and loyal workforce. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), workplaces that prioritize mental health see improved employee morale, increased job satisfaction, and lower turnover rates.

Organizations must shift their focus from merely balancing material resources to fostering a supportive and mentally healthy work environment. This involves providing access to mental health resources, encouraging work-life balance, and promoting a culture of openness and support.


Addressing employee stress is crucial for both individuals and organizations. By recognizing the importance of mental health and creating supportive work environments, companies can reduce turnover rates and enhance overall productivity. The time has come for organizations to prioritize the emotional wellbeing of their employees, ensuring a healthier, more satisfied workforce that drives long-term success and stability.

1. American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Stress in America. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/
2. American Institute of Stress. (n.d.). Workplace Stress. Retrieved from https://www.stress.org/workplace-stress
3. World Health Organization. (2020). Mental Health in the Workplace. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/mental_health/in_the_workplace/en/
4. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). (2019). Total Worker Health. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/twh/default.html
5. Optum. (2016). The State of Mental Health in the Indian Workplace. Retrieved from https://www.optum.in/content/dam/optum3/optum/en/in/insight-reports/The-State-of-Mental-Health-in-the-Indian-Workplace.pdf

The author, Dr Indira Sharma, is Assistant Professor (HR & OB) at School of Banking, Financial Services and Insurance Management, Symbiosis University of Applied Sciences, Indore.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETHRWorld does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETHRWorld will not be responsible for any damage caused to any person or organisation directly or indirectly.

  • Published On Jul 8, 2024 at 06:00 AM IST

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