National Stress Awareness Month: Help Employees Manage Stress

National Stress Awareness Month-Help Employees Manage Stress

April is National Stress Awareness month and, according to the American Institute of Stress, workplace stress is on the rise, noting juggling work and personal responsibilities as one of the main causes. Add to that the unique stresses of the current COVID-19 crisis, and it’s never been more important that employers offer benefits that can help their employees reduce stress.

In fact, an AIS report showed that 80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their coworkers need such help.

Mental Health America survey found that workplace stress also contributes to higher rates of absenteeism. They found that 33% of respondents said they miss work because of stress. Furthermore, the American Psychological Association states that job stress costs U.S. industry more than $300 billion a year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, and medical, legal and insurance costs.

Considering the impact your workforce’s stress has, now is a great time to promote or implement employee support programs that will help them identify, reflect on and learn to manage the stress in their life. Here are some programs to consider:

Emotional Health Support & Information
As employee stress is escalating, as also noted  by a Korn Ferry survey that nearly two-thirds of professionals say their stress levels at work are higher than they were five years ago, employers can counteract stress levels by offering Employee Assistance Programs to provide access to confidential counseling for both the employee and their household members. These programs typically offer both in person, telephonic or video sessions. It’s also imperative to share emotional health resources and information to help employees recognize and reduce unnecessary stress.

Financial Wellness Guidance
According to the American Psychological Association money is the top cause of stress in the United States and their recent Stress in America survey found that 72% of Americans reported feeling stressed about money. With finances being the number one stressor, now more than ever it’s vital that employees receive the financial guidance that can help them improve their financial literacy and wellness so they can reach both short and long term financial goals.

Work-Life Support

Work-Life Support
As today’s employees are managing more and more personal and professional responsibilities, often doing more and having less time to spare, top employers are implementing Work-Life programs to help them manage their needs. From finding reliable child or senior care, to locating local home improvement pros, wellness resources, pet care and more, these services save employees, time, money and stress by doing time consuming research and providing employees with the prescreened solutions they need, when they need them. They also provide access to informative educational materials and events on a variety of helpful topics.

Backup Care
When employees’ regular care routines are disrupted due to school closings, inclement weather, caregiver illness or any other reason, they can be left stressed and scrambling to find care so they can get to work. If they can’t find reliable care, they’ll often have to miss work, or attend work unable to focus. Offering company subsidized backup care is crucial in the face of these disruptions so employees can continue to focus on their day-to-day responsibilities and remain productive, stress free.

With the help of these programs, you can take ongoing measures to identify the causes and impacts of stress in your workplace. Additionally, as employees’ stress levels continue to rise, especially right now during the coronavirus pandemic, companies that create less stressful workplaces will surely have an advantage in optimizing the productivity of their workforce and attracting and retaining top talent.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can help reduce employee stress, our how we’re supporting our clients and their employees impacted by COVID-19, contact us or call us at 866-675-3751.