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Why US Workers Are Stressed

2019-4-3

More than half of American workers say they are stressed because their employers do not give them the information they need to do their jobs.

This information comes from a company called Dynamic Signal. It sells communications systems that enable businesses to send messages to workers’ mobile devices.

The Dynamic Signal study involved 1,001 people who work in the United States. They answered a series of questions online at the beginning of 2019.

FILE - In this March 25, 2014 file photo, a worker adjusts hoses at a gas well near Mead, Colorado.
FILE - In this March 25, 2014 file photo, a worker adjusts hoses at a gas well near Mead, Colorado.

The study found that 80 percent of the workers reported feeling stressed, or under pressure, because of poor communication by their employers.

The same study showed that more than 60 percent of those asked said they are ready to leave their companies.

And, it said the most unsatisfied workers are those who cannot look at work email regularly. They include workers in stores, hotels, restaurants, hospitals and buildings where products are stored, as well as delivery drivers. These workers are more likely to say that their companies communicate better with employees who work in offices.

Russ Fradin is the head of Dynamic Signal. He says that, over time, many businesses have stayed the same, but what workers expect has changed.

In the past, companies communicated with employees by putting up signs in the break room or on the factory floor. Or they might have used newsletters or magazines. But today, 77 percent of Americans own smartphones, and workers are used to getting information “pushed” to them immediately.

Their phones can show information about bank account balances, sporting events and possible love interests from a dating service, notes Fradin. So, he says, when workers receive information they need to know for their jobs an hour late, or three days late or two weeks late, they are likely to be angry.

“It’s really just about bringing the types of tools around your mobile phone that everyone is used to in their day-to-day life into the workplace," he adds.

Other studies

Other studies also show a growing dissatisfaction with how workplaces communicate to employees. A company called Staffbase produces software programs for workplace communication. It says that 74 percent of U.S. employees feel they are “missing out on company news and information.”

In addition, a 2017 Gallup survey found that just 13 percent of employers thought that company communications were effective.

The Harvard Business Review also published an article about how companies can use mobile phone applications to improve employee communication.

For example, the story said, businesses could send company announcements or information about payments and other assistance directly to workers on their phones.

Improving workplace communications can be good for a company’s profit. Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace Report found that companies with more engaged workers keep employees longer and bring in more money.

I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.

Dora Mekouar wrote this story for VOA. Kelly Jean Kelly adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

stressed - adj. feeling very worried or anxious

online - n. done over the Internet

regularly - adv. very often