Statistically, over 50% of sickness absence is as a result of stress both in the workplace and in the home. Companies often rely on their EAP to provide an outlet for employees who need support through a stressful period. However, symptoms of stress often go undetected until it is too late, and many sufferers of stress related absence have never telephoned the help lines or received counselling.

Part of Peninsula’s health assured Employee Assistance Programme, the Online Stress Audit tool allows employees to enter their personal history and asks a range of questions. It will then produce clear reports on their levels of stress at work; however, this is more than just an online stress assessment. A stress audit will also advise on which EAP services may be beneficial to employees, and provide advice on how to face their problems.

Why invest in managing stress?

Employers have a legal duty to ensure that all aspects of employee wellbeing – from health & safety at work to fair wages – are taken care of. However, when it comes to work related stress, it’s up to you. Businesses are not legally bound to manage stress levels, or help employees in dealing with stress. However, it’s quite likely that they’ll see some real rewards if they do.

Of course, catching stress symptoms early on and nipping problems in the bud could prevent a severe case of stress later on. Furthermore, reducing stress will inevitably lead to reducing absences, as stress contributes directly and indirectly to many illnesses and periods of sick leave. Finally, taking a proactive and personal approach to managing stress among your employees could lead to greater respect and loyalty in your workforce; you tend to reap what you sow when it comes to investing in people, and that is the intention at the core of the EAP.

What does the EAP stress audit include?

  • Regular stress assessment to find which employees are at risk of developing stress, and any who are already displaying symptoms.
  • Access to employee helplines for advice on any personal problems.
  • Proactive intervention on the first day of stress related absence.
  • Up to 8 sessions of face-to-face counselling with a stress coaching expert.
  • Advice for the employer on managing stress in their workplace, from workloads and policies to working environments.
  • Advice for employers regarding stress, sick pay, long term leave, or in extreme cases, dealing with an employment tribunal.

Peninsula’s Employee Assistance Programme is endorsed by the Stress Management Society. There has never been a simpler or more comprehensive way to combat work related stress and help employees in coping with stress.

HR outsourcing software for stress management

Work related stress has a direct impact on an individual’s general health and wellbeing, often resulting in repeated periods of absence. EAP clients may therefore be interested in Peninsula’s HR software. As well as the usual employment contract templates and tools for managing employers health & safety responsibilities, our HR software toolbox includes an invaluable absence calendar.

Absence management software can help employers spot which staff are taking a suspicious amount of sick leave. Signs of work related stress can include feeling mentally and physically drained, skin complaints or digestion problems, recurring headaches, or simply a lack of motivation, and a reluctance to come into work and face another day of stress.

Of course, it would take a mind reader to spot signs of work related stress if the employee is attempting to keep it bottled up. That’s why our regular online stress tests look for subconscious and psychological indicators, that aren’t visible to the naked eye. A worrying stress test result coupled with absences or poor performance should certainly set alarm bells ringing for employers, but fortunately, those who have invested in an EAP will have the resources at hand to help their employees.

Stress coaching for employees

There are many reasons why an employee can become stressed, from general worries about work and overall workload to issues with another member or staff or personal problems. Another factor which has an impact for older members of staff are the recent changes to default retirement age.

Fears over retirement and pensions are likely to have a significant impact on members of staff around this age, with stress coaching an excellent way to reassure them over their future and retirement plans. Many issues mentioned previously can also be helped through stress coaching, as employees are advised on their problems and how to deal with the stressful scenarios involved. Stress coaches understand that the reasons why people become stressed are varied, which is why their tips look to cover as many different scenarios as possible.

Peninsula assistance for stress issues

Peninsula is on hand to offer stress coaching and offer advice on a number of related issues. Call 0844 892 2772 or contact us via e-mail on advice@peninsula-uk.com. Alternatively, you can request a call back at a more convenient time to you by using our website. An experienced advisor will be on hand to discuss any issues you may have, as well as being able to arrange coaching and assistance with relieving stress if required. Also available is strictly confidential business advice through the Peninsula HR online tool.