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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.

January 24, 2019

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Nearly half of SME workers quit jobs because of stress

Nearly half of people working in small and medium-sized (SMEs) businesses have quit their jobs because of work-related frustrations and stress, according to a new survey.

A survey for the software firm Process Bliss found 38% of people surveyed said working for a small business was more stressful than working for a bigger firm.

A third of those surveyed said having to chase colleagues for updates was their main source of work-related stress, while 31% said it was a lack of information or clarity when asked to do something.

emailOther sources of workplace stress cited were a lack of control over a situation (28%), a lack of guidance/direction from the boss (26%) and a lack of response to emails (25%).

And 42% of people working for SMEs said they had changed jobs and a third admitted to having called in sick because of work-related frustrations and stresses.

“Many of these issues come from people not being given sufficient training or a functioning process to follow that enables them to do their job well,” said Process Bliss’s CEO, Alister Esam, CEO.

“At the same time, managers are checking up on, and micro-managing staff because they have no way of seeing whether employees are following that process correctly. This harassment is stressful, contributing to a culture of mistrust and causing people working at SMEs to leave in significant numbers.”

In addition, the survey also reveals almost two-thirds (63%) of people who work for an SME are not clear about all of their company’s processes and training.

Nearly half (43%) said their company had lost customers because of failed processes.

“Doing more to reduce stress in the workplace is hugely important and should be a key priority for SME bosses during 2019 – staff retention is vital,” added Esam.

“Employees do their best work when they are motivated, engaged, trusted and work in a reduced-stress environment and leave a job when they are unhappy and demotivated. Workplace stress can come from many different sources and while no boss can eliminate stress completely, there are lots of measures that can be put in place to ensure day-to-day frustrations are reduced.”

The full report – Causes and implications of workplace stress in SMEs – is available online.

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