Let's talk about stress: EAP calls set to double as employees feel the pressure

David Price – CEO of Health Assured

May 04 2016

Work-related stress shows no signs of fading, as Health Assured, innovative providers of business health and wellbeing solutions projects individual cases of workplace stress to more than double throughout 2016. In 2015, Health Assured received 2,449 calls to its EAP telephone advice service from employees finding it difficult to manage modern workplace pressures. Based on current figures, Health Assured predicts calls regarding work-related stress to reach 5,500, as employers face difficulties detecting sources of stress and how to manage this growing issue. David Price, Group Director of Health Assured said today; “Work-related stress is an issue that has presented somewhat of a conundrum for many employers, as the root cause of stress or how a person responds to a potentially challenging situation differs greatly. Stress isn’t always a bad thing, particularly when it’s directed positively towards achieving a goal, however when our bodies experience a prolonged state of stress, our ability to think straight and react to situations in a reasonable manner is seriously impeded, which can be detrimental to our health and wellbeing.” According to The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in 2014/15 stress at work accounted for 35% of all work-related ill health and 43% of all working days lost due to ill health. Adding to this, the results from the Britain at Work report demonstrate that employers have a long way to go in supporting the health and wellbeing of their employees with only 11% of employees having access to stress management training and 21% being offered counselling assistance such as EAP’s. Price adds “The world of business has faced its fair share of challenges over the past few years in light of the recession, but so too has its employees, as they learn to adapt to increasing workload demands, tighter deadlines and higher levels of responsibility. It is completely understandable that employers are focussing their efforts on building a solid structure for their business, however neglecting to prioritise the importance of employee wellbeing is a foresight that will ultimately prove costly for employers with the burden of increased sickness absenteeism, lower levels of productivity and potentially the loss of vital talent.” “Employees represent the heart of any business and as such should be made to feel valued and respected as fundamental assets to your organisation. Employers and their management teams should look towards improving internal communication and establishing a positive workplace culture, which acknowledges and presence of stress and takes action to educate employees on how to deal with stress more effectively. This can include regular catch-ups with your employees, the implementation of employee satisfaction surveys, promoting positive work-life balance and the provision of a confidential counselling service.”

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