In today's fast-paced world, prioritizing mental well-being is essential. 83% of US workers report feeling stressed at work, with 25% reporting work as their primary stressor. Work-related stress can impact every aspect of a professional environment, from productivity levels to culture quality. Employers looking to attract and maintain top talent should ensure mental health tools and support are available to their employees on a regular basis. One way to do this is by providing comprehensive wellness benefits as part of your employee benefits package. Incorporating resources that address all aspects of wellness can help employees thrive personally and professionally, while fostering a culture of compassion and support. Understanding the impacts of related stress and what resources are recommended for employees can ensure your benefits package is competitive and effective.
The Impacts of Stress on Workplace Productivity
The professional environment in the US is both competitive and taxing for many. There is a strong focus on productivity, and overall US workers tend to work significantly more hours than employees in comparable nations. While these efforts can lead to a successful business and a strong economy in many cases, they can also negatively impact workplace productivity if the proper stress management tools aren’t available. In fact, the National Institute of Health has reported a direct correlation between workplace stress and decreased productivity. Some of the ways stress can affect the overall success of a business include:
The term “employee burnout” has become somewhat of a buzzword, but the effects are very real and are even recognized as a health condition by the World Health Organization (WHO). Long-term stress can cause employees to become detached from their roles and work, and no longer able to maintain their standard job duties at a high functioning level. It can also lead to chronic exhaustion, fatigue, and anxiety. Companies that do not provide adequate support to their employees and teams could face widespread burnout with an overall decrease in employee performance.
Workers who aren’t able to properly manage their professional and personal stress are more likely to be habitually absent from their job. It’s estimated that around 1 million US workers are absent each day due to work stress, which can significantly impact job operations. The effects of absenteeism extend well beyond the immediate absence from work, affecting overall morale, productivity, and overtime incurring significant financial losses for businesses.
High levels of stress can negatively impact overall job satisfaction and contribute to higher levels of employee turnover. The success of companies is largely dependent on the quality of their employees, and high turnover rates may deter potential candidates from accepting a position. In addition, the cost of finding and training new employees to replace unfilled roles can incur significant costs for businesses.
These factors combined can have profoundly negative effects on businesses, and while there will always be stress in the workplace, providing support and resources can help employees manage that stress in a healthy way.
Promoting Wellness in Your Employee Benefits Package
There is a wide range of wellness tools that organizations can incorporate into employee benefits packages to help to foster a positive working environment. First, consider the diverse aspects that makeup employee wellness, including:
- Emotional Wellness
- Mental Wellness
- Physical Wellness
- Professional Wellness
Addressing each aspect of wellness will ensure the tools you provide can help each employee and their unique set of needs. Organizations can also consider employee demographics, such as age, gender, and job roles to better understand which wellness benefits would be most effective for their staff. Additionally, utilizing employee feedback with surveys and open discussions will help to better understand what the most common stress complaints are, and any benefits employees desire the most.
Wellness Benefits to Consider
With wellness now being a top priority for the majority of high-performing businesses, there are plenty of tools and programs organizations can choose from to improve their employee benefits plan. Whether you are just starting a new business and want to ensure you build a strong foundation or want to revamp current employee benefits, consider the following additions:
Stress Management Education
Education is a priceless tool that can provide employees with long-term coping mechanisms for workplace stress. Webinars, presentations, and workshops can help employees engage with one another and learn healthy ways to manage and overcome their stress. Stress management education can focus on a multitude of topics such as general stress, handling conflicts, time management, relaxation, nutrition, and so on. Many companies opt to work with professional well-being organizations to host events or talks and ensure employees receive a high-quality education that will truly make a positive impact.
Mental Health Mobile App Subscriptions
Millions of US workers are battling chronic stress without the proper resources or access to professional help. Mental health mobile apps are a positive solution for organizations who want to overcome barriers and provide convenient resources for their employee's well-being. Talk therapy and meditation app subscriptions offer corporate benefit partnerships and encourage users to take a proactive approach to their mental health. Mental health apps offer extensive features like mood tracking, talk therapy, meditation, breathwork, and relaxation and are low-cost, high-quality options for employee benefits programs.
Each individual will have different needs to properly address their mental and physical well-being, and not everyone is comfortable sharing that information with their employers. A wellness stipend can provide monthly, quarterly, or annual funds for employees to put toward whatever resources help them live a healthier and happier lifestyle. Some examples of common uses include gym memberships, online wellness courses, wellness supplements, and various types of physical therapy.
Flexible Working Hours
Flexible working hours allow employees to start and end their work day at different times depending on their schedule needs. A common layout is the option to start between 7 am -10 am and finish anywhere between 3 pm and 6 pm. This benefit can significantly reduce stress on employees and provide a good work-life balance. Flexible working hours promote diversity and inclusion by supporting the different needs of all employees, such as those with children, health conditions, second jobs, and more. Providing employees with the time to handle their personal responsibilities alongside their work can increase productivity, job satisfaction, and employee well-being.
Upgrade Your Employee Benefits Program with ECBM
Benefits are a high priority for employees and potential candidates, and a positive working environment will improve the culture, quality, and success of your organization. Incorporating wellness initiatives into your employee benefits program is a great way to address workplace stress before it has negative impacts on your organization. ECBM has extensive experience in employee benefits and can ensure your program is competitive and desirable. For more information on what benefits to incorporate and how we can serve your businesses, contact one of our agents.