Dr. Kevin Gazzara
7 min readMay 8, 2024


10 Proven Solutions to Identify and Instantly Kill Work Stress

This article is segmented into 3 parts:

1. The 5 Reasons to Pay Attention to Stress for Yourself and Your Staff

2. The 10 Contributors to Workplace Stress

3. The 10 Approaches to Reduce Stress in the Workplace

The very first thing to remember is that how you react to the situations in your life is what creates stress. If you have lots of stress in your life you have 2 choices, 1) work to remove the elements that are creating the stress, or 2) work on how you react to them. This article focuses on why you should pay attention to the stress creating elements, what are the contributors to stress, and how to reduce the stressors. Changing how you react to the stress elements will be a focus of a future article.

Part 1 — The 5 Reasons You Should Pay Attention to Stress for Yourself and Your Staff

Stress in the workplace can have significant impacts on both employees and organizations. Here are some key statistics that highlight the effects of stress.

1. Health Impacts:

According to the American Institute of Stress, work-related stress is linked to health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that stress costs American businesses up to $300 billion annually in lost productivity.

2. Absenteeism and Presenteeism:

The American Psychological Association (APA) reports that more than one-third of American workers experience chronic work stress, leading to higher rates of absenteeism and presenteeism (working while sick or otherwise impaired).

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work found that 50–60% of all lost workdays are stress-related, leading to decreased productivity and increased healthcare costs.

3. Impact on Productivity:

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggests that work-related stress accounts for 37% of all work-related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates that 40% of job turnover is due to stress.

4. Mental Health Concerns:

The APA’s Stress in America survey found that work is a significant source of stress for many Americans, with 64% of adults reporting that work is a significant source of stress.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that prolonged exposure to stress can contribute to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

5. Financial Costs:

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) in Ireland estimates that the total annual cost of work-related stress, including absenteeism, medical expenses, and reduced productivity, amounts to €3 billion.

A study by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions found that work-related stress costs European Union (EU) countries an estimated €20 billion annually.

These statistics underscore the significant impact that workplace stress can have on individuals, organizations, and economies, emphasizing the importance of addressing and mitigating stressors in the workplace.

Part 2 — The 10 Contributors to Workplace Stress

While it’s challenging to provide a universally applicable order of the causes of workplace stress due to variations in industries, demographics, and other factors, here is a comprehensive list based on available research and surveys. This is an attempt to list them in order of perceived impact, along with relevant sources where available:

1. Workload and Deadlines:

Source: The American Psychological Association’s (APA) “Stress in America” survey consistently identifies workload and deadlines as primary sources of stress for American workers.

2. Interpersonal Relationships:

Source: The APA’s “Stress in America” survey and various workplace studies consistently highlight conflicts with coworkers and supervisors as significant stressors.

3. Job Security and Uncertainty:

Source: Research by Gallup and other organizations consistently reports concerns about job security and economic instability as major stress factors for workers.

4. Lack of Control:

Source: Studies by organizations like the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work highlight the impact of perceived lack of control over work tasks on stress levels.

5. Work-Life Balance:

Source: Surveys conducted by organizations such as the American Institute of Stress often identify work-life balance issues as a significant contributor to workplace stress.

6. Career Development and Advancement:

Source: Various workplace surveys and studies emphasize the importance of career growth opportunities and feeling valued in the workplace for employee well-being.

7. Workplace Environment and Culture:

Source: Research on workplace culture and employee engagement, such as studies by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), often highlight the impact of toxic cultures on stress levels.

8. Technology and Information Overload:

Source: Reports by organizations like the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) often discuss the role of technology and information overload in contributing to workplace stress.

9. Physical Work Conditions:

Source: Occupational health and safety research, including studies by government agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), address the impact of physical work conditions on employee well-being.

10. Financial Concerns:

Source: Surveys on employee financial wellness and research by organizations like the Economic Policy Institute often identify financial insecurity as a significant stressor in the workplace.

Please note that the order and significance of these contributors can vary depending on the context and specific demographics of the workforce. Additionally, while I’ve provided several general sources, specific studies and reports may offer more detailed statistics on each factor’s impact on workplace stress.

Part 3 — The 10 Approaches to Reduce Stress in the Workplace

Managing stress in the workplace is essential for maintaining productivity and overall well-being for the managers and the employees. Here are 10 recommended approaches that managers can implement with no cost to the organization:

1. Clarify Expectations: Unclear expectations can cause a great deal of stress. Make sure everyone knows what’s expected of them and by when. The clearest expectations contain the 3 elements of; quantity, quality and pace.

2. Improve Time Management: Encourage employees to prioritize tasks and focus on one thing at a time. Avoid multitasking, which can increase stress. Placing tasks in the Eisenhower matrix of importance and urgency should be one of the first steps.

3. Promote Open Communication: Create an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their concerns and ideas. Open communication can prevent misunderstandings and reduce stress. You can tell if this present when employees are asking challenging questions.

4. Encourage Regular Breaks: Short breaks throughout the day can help employees recharge and prevent burnout. A short pause of even 2 to 5 minutes to disconnect and clear your mind can deliver some amazing rejuvenation.

5. Foster Positive Relationships: Encourage teamwork and camaraderie. Positive workplace relationships can provide support and reduce stress. You can tell if this present when employees are using more terms like “we, us, our, together” and less of “me, they, their, those people”

6. Provide Resources and Support: Make sure employees have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively. Offer support when they encounter challenges. This should be one of the top roles for a manager. Continually checking to see if resources (people, materials, knowledge, access, time) are available to meet the clear expectations.

7. Encourage Physical Activity: Incorporate opportunities for exercise, such as stand-up or walking meetings or on-site fitness programs. Physical activity is a great stress reliever.

8. Create a Comfortable Work Environment: A pleasant and ergonomic work environment can reduce physical strain and mental stress. Does the environment feel inviting or hostile?

9. Offer Flexibility: When possible, offer flexible working hours or the option to work from home. This can help employees balance work and personal life more effectively.

10. Recognize and Reward Efforts: Acknowledge employees’ hard work and achievements. Recognition can boost morale and reduce stress. This should be done on a regular basis, especially when an employee goes above and beyond. Be specific about what is being recognized and provide the “why” or the benefit of the exceptional performance. Making the connection for the employee has significantly more benefit than you might imagine.


It’s important to tailor these approaches to your specific workplace and the needs of your employees. Creating a culture that works toward actively addressing and reducing stress will benefit everyone in the organization and the organization’s success as well. The best way to start is to identify them through a questionnaire or through a verbal conversation. In-person is always ideal, but a virtual (video or audio) conversation is acceptable.

Next Steps

I hope you found this article on “10 Proven Solutions to Identify and Instantly Kill Work Stress” valuable and a bit intriguing. You can use the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize the 10 contributors to workplace stress. Once prioritized then select which of the 10 approaches to reduce stress in the Workplace will be most beneficial to your stress reduction initiative.

Pick the top prioritized contributors and then start with one of your prioritized approaches. Trying to remove too many stressors with too many different approaches is more likely to increase your stress than reduce it. Slow and steady wins the race. Avoidance is not a strategy, the best time to start is today.

If you’d like any additional insight for stress reduction, I’d be excited to help. You can find more Management and Leadership knowledge on our website https://magnaleadership.com/. We are trusted advisors for executives of small to mid-sized organizations who realize an investment in emerging leaders solves their growth and engagement challenges.

About the Author

Dr. Kevin Gazzara — is a senior partner and founder of Magna Leadership Solutions, based in Phoenix, Arizona. Kevin is an international speaker and recognized as a Management & Leadership Expert and an Executive Coach. He is the coauthor of “The Leader of OZ” www.leaderofoz.com. Kevin has been a professor at 6 Universities, developing and teaching programs to help others achieve their full potential. You can follow Kevin and Magna Leadership Solutions on:

· our leadership websites: https://magnaleadership.com/

· our coaching websites: https://www.coachsultants.com and https://pqtrainingandcoaching.com

· LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/magna-leadership-solutions/

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I would be excited to speak with you about your current hiring challenges. Please click here to connect with me at: https://Magnaleadershipkevin.youcanbook.me

Thank you,
Dr. Kevin Gazzara
Senior Partner and Certified Positive Intelligence & ICF Coach Magna Leadership Solutions LLC
Kevin@MagnaLeadership.com or Kevin@CoachSultants.com



Dr. Kevin Gazzara

CEO of Magna Leadership Solutions, Certified ICF &Positive Intelligence Coach, Management Expert, Professor, Speaker, Author. Contact: Kevin@Magnaleadership.com