Podcast: Jeffrey Pfeffer Thinks the Workplace is Killing Us

June 14, 2024
  • Brent Stewart
  • Brent Stewart
    Digital Strategy & Content Leader at Barry-Wehmiller

“Most leaders understand their influence on team members’ lives during work hours, but often enough, they don’t think about how their leadership affects team members outside of the workplace as well.”

Barry-Wehmiller CEO, Bob Chapman, wrote this in a blog post on this site titled “Wellness and Work: What's the ROI of Caring?” The connection between leadership and health has been a major point in his speeches over the past few years. In fact, he once told a group of CEOs that they were the cause of the healthcare crisis in our country.

In that post, Bob also said:

One of the profound truths we’ve discovered at Barry-Wehmiller is this: The way we lead impacts the way people live.

And, that extends to the health and wellbeing of those within our span of care. I talk often about workplace stress and the links between stress and health. Stress often leads to or exacerbates health issues, and what’s one of the leading causes of stress? Work!

The American Institute of Stress says that “Numerous studies show that job stress is far and away the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades. Increased levels of job stress as assessed by the perception of having little control but lots of demands have been demonstrated to be associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension and other disorders.”

They also say that in many municipalities, because there is such a correlation between job stress and heart attack, if a police officer has a heart attack while on duty or off, it is considered a work-related injury. Even if that officer is on vacation!

A friend of ours, Jeffrey Pfeffer has a book, Dying for a Paycheck, which is a deep dive into the connection between the workplace and poor health. He had this to say about his book in an interview in Entrepreneur magazine:

I tell people all the time, they say, “Summarize your book in a sentence,” and I say, “The workplace is killing people, and nobody cares.” And to me, the second part is worse than the first. We do not care about human health and well-being. We do not care about human psychological physical health. We do not care about people. And until we change that orientation, it’s going to be ugly.

Much of Jeffrey’s book reinforces many of the things we’ve been saying for awhile. On this podcast, he talks about his book and explains how the workplace is killing people. You can listen through the link above or through your favorite podcast provider.


Related Posts

Need help in applying principles of Truly Human Leadership in your organization? Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute is Barry-Wehmiller's leadership consulting firm that partners with other companies to create strategic visions, engage employees, improve corporate culture and develop outstanding leaders through leadership training, assessments and workshops.

Find out more at ccoleadership.com