National Stress Awareness Month: Job Stress and Incivility

Person working under stress

April marks National Stress Awareness Month and this year it coincides with a very challenging time in our country. Stress can affect your body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Being able to recognize common symptoms of stress can help you manage them. Stress that's left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Incivility and conflict in the workplace can lead to increased stress levels. As stress levels among staff increase, productivity suffers. When staff are stressed, their ability to objectively deal with emotionally charged situations decreases and all of this can fuel existing conflict and lead to even more stress. 

A kind and inclusive workplace that fosters civility can mitigate adverse outcomes for staff and improve overall organizational effectiveness. Please check out the resources below learn about strategies to effectively cope when feeling overwhelmed.

Additionally, the NIH offers several resources that can assist managers and employees in dealing with stress and resolving conflict in the workplace, including the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the Office of the Ombudsman. While the EAP focuses on confidential counseling and enhancing and maintaining the well-being of all employees, the Office of the Ombudsman provides confidential, informal services related to coaching, facilitation, and mediation.

If incivility escalates into harassment or other patterns of inappropriate, unproductive, or disruptive behaviors, contact the NIH Civil Program. The mission of the Civil Program is to foster civility within the NIH community.  Civil can also assist with coordinating trainings about civility and respect in the workplace as well as share best practices for cultivating a positive and productive environment. For more information, please visit: