Tag Archives:


Cost of Stress – Arkansas Bankers Association Speaker

Stress in Banking – What are the Costs?

*Originally published in The Arkansas Banker Magazine

An organization’s most important asset is its workforce.  This is especially true in the banking industry. 

Stress affects individual employee performance and overall operational readiness to the tune of $300 billion annually.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported in 2016, “Work-related stress is the leading workplace health problems and a major occupational health risk, ranking above physical inactivity and obesity.”  Towers Watson reports in their annual survey that it is not just a US problem but the most prevalent health issue in the world.   Dr Batman of Virgin Pulse notes that “psychological challenges are so widespread that workplaces should view them as inevitable and plan accordingly”. In a recent Global Business Challenge survey they noted that (lack of) sleep, high stress and happiness were the most prevalent health issues that greatly influenced presenteeism.

Consider stress in the banking industry, for example. According to ComPsych’s 2017 StressPulse survey, a typical employee experience may include:

  1. LOST DAILY PRODUCTIVITY DUE TO STRESS― (Less than one in four (23%) report stress is not a factor. 41% lose 15-30 minutes per day, 36% lose 60 minutes or more per day; only 23% report stress is not a factor
  2. LOST WORK DAYS DUE TO STRESS―55% miss 1-2 days per year, 31% miss 3-6 days per year, and 14% miss more than six days per year.
  3. PRESENTEEISM (Coming to work when too stressed to be effective)―46% come to work in this state 1-4 days per year and 29% come to work in this state five or more days per year. Only 25% report that stress is not a factor.

These three stress-related business factors can result in dramatic losses in your profitability.  Let me show you:

An average bank branch in Arkansas, on any given workday from open to close (10 hours), could employ 13 individuals who average $18/hr.

According to calculations based on the StressPulse survey, that branch would experience the following annual losses due to stress:

• $31,137.56 in lost productivity

• $7,160.40 in lost workdays

• $13,520 in presenteeism

Taken together, these figures total $52,818 dollars lost to poor stress management in a single branch. Across all employees, this averages $4,063 dollars per employee, per year.  Multiply $4,063 loss with the 20,000 banking employees in Arkansas and the total climbs to over eight million dollars a year.

To be sure, this example is an estimation based on one survey.  However, in my experience, the lost productivity time per day does seem realistic. 

Even if the dollar loss is an approximate, it is likely underestimated because it does not take into account how stress influences other aspects of employees’ lives and

career. For example, high-stressed employees:

• Incur 46% higher healthcare costs

• Experience more frequent on-the-job accidents

• Demonstrate increased turnover

• Exhibit poorer customer service skills

• Responsible for increased number of mistakes

These five additional factors could easily double the loss in productivity cited above.

What can you, as a leader in banking, do about this?  I am here to help, both in this article and on August 3, when I have the honor of Keynoting your Annual Convention in Little Rock.  

First, determine what causes employee stress.  The top three causes cited by the StressPulse respondents:

• Workload (39%)

• Interpersonal Issues (31%)

• Work-Life Balance (19%)

Those factors in banking, as well as other industries, are major issues that need attention and appropriate interventions .  Combine that with the additional stress from industry and regulatory changes that will be forthcoming, now is an excellent time to focus on better managing stress and presenteeism in banking.

The primary solution for turning stress at work from a negative force to a motivating one is “Arousal Reappraisal.”  In this context, arousal refers to when something happens that is stressful enough to interrupt your thinking and become “top of mind.”  Reappraisal is how you choose to “appraise” or view that situation after the initial shock passes. Another word for this would be – Resilience

Examples of stressful moments could include:

• A branch manager learning of a possible merger

• A loan officer discovering that she lost a loan to a competing bank

• A teller seeing a difficult customer walk into the branch

A normal initial response to those situations is to think, “Oh no!”  This first response is instinctual and beyond our control.  Once the initial flush of emotion is over, however, it becomes evident who thrives under stress and those who struggle with it.


  • Thrivers exhibit consistent motivation, energy, and resilience .
  • Strugglers display fluctuating energy, and lack the same levels of motivation and resilience.
  • Strugglers let the emotions caused by the stress trigger a “threat mindset,” which drives their focus to the potential negative outcomes. This process triggers a powerful mental and physical response that can fuel procrastination and significantly hinders their ability to react in a timely mannerThrivers have learned to overcome this “threat” instinct.  After the shock of the stress event is over, they simply reframe the situation into what psychologists call a “challenge mindset.”  In this approach, they focus on what they can do to improve the situation versus focusing on the potential threats, which are mostly outside of their control.

Here are five questions you can ask to help diffuse stress and trigger the “Challenge Mindset” in yourself and your employees:

1. What can I/we do in this situation?

2. What do I/we need to learn to solve this issue?

3. What have I/we learned about this topic in the past?

4. Who can help me with this issue?

5. Who can I help with this issue?

Anytime you feel or see others experience that familiar flush of stress, remember to take on a Challenge Mindset and you can use that stress to fuel success.

Andy Core is an expert on thriving in high-demand workplaces.  He is also an award-winning speaker on productivity, stress and balance, and author of Change Your Day, Not Your Life.  For presentation information, visit www.andycore.com/speaker.  For more info on beating stress, see http://andycore.com/e-newsletter/ or follow him on Twitter @andycore.


Emotional Intelligence- The Two Main Factors That Are Influenced By It!

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Wellbeing, and Peak Human Performance.

EQ helps you deal with your emotions and helps you form stronger bonds!

EQ helps you deal with your emotions
and helps you form stronger bonds!

To be successful in life your Intelligence quotient or IQ isn’t enough rather it is your emotional intelligence quotient or EQ that really matters. True that your IQ might help you to graduate, but it is your EQ that actually helps you deal with your emotions such as anxiety and stress that you face during your examination period at college. Moreover, EQ is also the type of intellect that equips you with the knowledge about social conduct and makes you socially aware.

Below are two factors that are influenced by emotional intelligence:

One’s physiological health: Emotional Intelligence teaches you how to deal with stress. So individuals who haven’t developed their EQ, have trouble managing stress and this can lead to some severe health conditions. High stress levels have the tendency to deteriorate your whole body. It can increase your blood pressure, damage the immune system, raise your risk of getting a heart attack, can lead to infertility, can accelerate the aging process and can even lead to a stroke. So in order to control your stress levels, you need to work on developing your EQ.

One’s relationships:  EQ equips you with the appropriate knowledge that allows you to articulate yourself adeptly and at the same time makes you empathic as well. This allows you to form stronger and deeper bonds with others.

To learn more on Andy’s programs



Stress Can Improve Productivity in the Workplace

Some stress can increase productivity in the workplace

Being pushed out of your comfort zone by stress can increase productivity in the workplace.

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance.

We are often told that we need to avoid all stress in our lives. However, in the world of work a little bit of stress can be a very useful tool and lead to an increase in productivity in the workplace.

Stress Breeds Innovation

It is very easy to slip into your comfort zone when you’re working and, at times, this can be very helpful in allowing us to recharge our batteries. However, stay there for too long and it breeds complacency. It is only when we are in a heightened state of stress that we will push ourselves further, leading to innovation and progress. Push your employees as far as possible, then allow them time in their comfort zone to recover; their productivity in the workplace will improve as a result, and so your company will prosper.

Know the Limits

Whilst stress aids productivity, it is vital that you observe your employees’ limits. Place somebody under stressful conditions for too long and they will overstretch themselves. The result is often a loss of confidence in their abilities, and a regression; this is clearly something that will affect your business prospects. Make sure that you monitor your employees; if they start to show the signs of being overloaded, allow them to return to their comfort zone.

Reap the Rewards

If you judge the stress levels of your employees correctly, you will find that their productivity in the workplace greatly improves. Your organization will benefit strongly as a result.

For more information about Andy’s work-life balance programs Contact Us Now!



Embrace Stress and Increase Your Productivity in the Workplace

Embracing stress and putting that energy to work can increase productivity in the workplace.

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance.

We’ve all been there; a deadline is looming and we have done very little work on the project. Our productivity in the workplace has been lacking. Panic begins to set in; our stomach churns, our mouth feels dry and we begin to sweat. All too often, a person will shut down once these symptoms set in, but in doing so they miss an excellent opportunity.

Do Not Fear Stress

When we feel stressed, it is because we know that we are being pushed to our limit. This is a good thing; once we reach our limit, we have the opportunity to develop further and improve our abilities. The worst thing that we can do, when we feel stressed, is give up, because once we do that, we are rejecting an opportunity to showcase our talents and really push ourselves and increase our productivity in the workplace.

Too Much Comfort Is Counterproductive

It can be painful to push ourselves, and it is very tempting to settle back into our comfort zone and coast through work. However, in doing so we miss the buzz of improvement, the thrill that personal development gives us. If you have a deadline coming up, don’t take the easy way out. Rather, push through the pain barrier, work long hours and complete the job. Proving to yourself that you can do it will give you the confidence you need to fulfill your potential.

Don’t allow yourself to be paralyzed by stress; embrace it, extend yourself and feel the glow of satisfaction. Your productivity in the workplace will improve and you can look forward to the next challenge.

For more information about Andy’s work-life balance programs Contact Us Now!



Maximize Productivity in the Workplace: Three Ways to Reduce Stress

Combat stress to increase productivity in the workplace

Try these three methods to combat stress and increase your productivity in the workplace.

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance.

When we are stressed, everything seems to be a massive task and our productivity in the workplace suffers. It is very easy to overestimate the amount of work that we have to do, and panic about whether or not we can complete the job in time. We get into a vicious circle, with the result that we don’t get anything done. Clearly, this is an undesirable situation. If you feel as though the stresses of work are getting to be too much, consider these three ways to relax yourself.


It sounds simple, but the best thing you can do is concentrate on your breathing; breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Focusing on your breathing will take your mind off the task and allow you to reassess what you have to do, and you will feel far more relaxed. Regulate your breathing for a few minutes and you will soon be able to put things back into perspective.


When we bottle up our stresses, they become increasingly difficult to deal with. Our productivity in the workplace suffers and that can make us feel even more stressed. Sometimes, we just need to let it all out and talk to somebody. Search out the counselor within your workplace or, if there isn’t one, a close friend to have a chat with. You will hopefully find that the weight on your shoulders is lifted and will be able to focus on your work once again.


We often get into a little bubble when we are working, and within the bubble, everything seems to be hyper-pressured. Pop the bubble and go for a walk. Whether you wander to get a coffee, or have a stroll around the block, you will find that the break from your workstation will do you a world of good.

Don’t allow yourself to be overcome by the stresses of work; breathe, talk and walk your way to a more state of mind where you can regain your productivity in the workplace.

For more information about Andy’s work-life balance programs Contact Us Now!


Page 1 of 15123...Last »

Change Your Day, Not Your Life
A realistic guide to sustained motivation, more productivity, and the art of working well
read more

About Andy Core
Author and speaker on work-life balance, productivity and wellbeing
read more

Receive monthly email tips, research, how tos...
read more