Reduce job stress through effective sales performance management

By Sathee Brent,

Stress is a major factor in the well-being and engagement of workers, especially among the sales workforce. When sales staff feel overworked or overwhelmed, they may experience negative health effects due to job-related stress, such as lack of sleep, which further impacts their motivation to do a good job. A new survey by health and engagement program platform provider Keas showed 4 in 10 employees are not getting an adequate amount of sleep. Of these workers, 24 percent attributed their sleepless nights to work-related stress.

Josh Stevens, Keas CEO, advocates for greater awareness of the effects of employee stress in the workplace. The Keas Employee Happiness Index revealed 41 percent of workers said they had above average levels of stress. The report notes that employees could have issues with their health as a result of stress in and out of work, including heart disease, depression and diabetes. These health problems not only affect overall work performance by bringing down productivity, but also ultimately adds more costs to employers such as increased health care expenses and financial losses from employees' poor performance.

"As employers reevaluate their health programs for employees and begin developing a culture of health, they must also consider how stress prevention fits into the bigger picture," Stevens said. "Major health issues associated with stress cause problems that ultimately affect the bottom line. Identifying what causes stress and providing resources to help mitigate the negative effects can be the difference between a healthy, engaged and productive workforce and the less-than-ideal alternative."

How to use incentive compensation to build supportive work environment
The survey said certain groups are more vulnerable to work-related stress than others. Compared to the 28 percent of men who said they felt above average levels of stress, a much higher percentage of women (72 percent) said the same thing.

With stress potentially negatively impacting productivity and the bottom line, employers could consider reducing stress through more effective sales performance management. Solutions for monitoring worker performance could help employers limit the challenges brought on by stress. Instead of exacerbating the level of stress by introducing more competition in the workplace, they could restructure their incentive compensation program, Dr. Spencer Blackman, a primary care physician in San Francisco, wrote in Entrepreneur Magazine.

By rewarding teams instead of individuals by tracking their collective performance using automated software, employers can work to cultivate a collaborative and supportive environment that could result in a higher overall performance.

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Sathee Brent