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What Employers Can Do to Manage Stress in the Workplace

by Matthew MusciAugust 10, 2017 8:00 AM

One of the largest contributors to mental health problems in the workplace is stress. Not only are mental health issues difficult to recognize, we also cannot assume an employee’s stresses from everyday life are checked at the door when they arrive at work every morning.

Everyday life stresses coupled with the pressures that work brings could be detrimental to both the employee and the business. This can have serious impact on an employee’s overall health and employers must take the appropriate steps to protect both the employees and the business.

Image of a stressed out employee.

Stress in the Workplace

This begs the question, how can stressed out employees affect a business? Several factors combine to impact the business negatively:

  • Poor performance
  • Increased human error
  • Mental lapses
  • Lack of motivation
  • Workplace accidents

These factors combined could determine the employee’s likelihood to quit or could end up being the reason for their termination. The resulting increase in turnover costs a businesses, and even the economy, a lot of money. 

Workplace stress, according to Dr. David Posen, “is costing the American economy hundreds of billions of dollars each year in lost productivity and health care expenses.” Beyond the workplace effects, the stress and mental health issues could have serious physical implications on the individual, including: 

  • Heart disease
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Medication abuse

What Employers Can Do About Stress

There are numerous steps employers can take to prevent mental issues from entering the workplace. This process can start with proper management training to promote:

  • Effective communication
  • The setting of achievable goals
  • Adequate lifetime training for employees
  • Teamwork/team first workplace 

On top of these steps, many companies offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) to help make sure their stress is appropriately managed. It’s important to set expectations with each employee and keep these expectations realistic and reasonable to help employees manage their workload and stress levels. Coupled with heavy workloads and daily stresses from everyday life, it is imperative to offer your employees paid time off (PTO) and encourage them to take full advantage of it to help them minimize their stress and maximize their workplace efforts. Lastly, employers can offer their employees a corporate wellness program to help promote the overall physical, mental, and emotional health of their workforce. 

Partner with a PEO to Limit Workplace Stress

Workplace stress management is a lot to keep up with, especially while you’re trying to simultaneously run a successful business. 

A PEO can help your employees stay happy, healthy, and productive while you make sure business is operating smoothly and successfully. GMS offers one-on-one management training to help you with employees’ stress, difficult situations that arise, and several other areas of concern. GMS also partners with a company called ESPYR to provide a completely customizable Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help promote overall company wellness. Customizable GMS EAP services can include:

  • Legal consultation provided by attorneys
  • Financial consultation 
  • Prenatal program
  • Child care information and referrals 
  • Elder care services
  • Adoption specialists
  • Academic resources 
  • Pet care services 
  • Life event services 
    • Such as birth, death, marriage, divorce, natural disasters, end of life services
  • Special needs services and referrals

The EAP offered through GMS also provides:

  • Up to four sessions per problem for face-to-face counseling and referral for a full range of personal, family, and work concerns
  • Telephonic and video access to counseling 
  • 24/7 toll-free telephone access to mental health professionals 
  • Multilingual counselors and staff and multilingual interpreter services available in 140 languages

GMS recognizes that a business’ most important assets are its employees. If business owners can take the appropriate steps to promote the well-being of their employees, it can only help to maximize the company’s potential. Contact GMS today to talk to one of our experts about taking the next step toward managing workplace stress.

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