Employers’ efforts to help manage workplace stress were called into question by research in October and November, coinciding with National Stress Awareness Day on 6 November.
Research published by charity Mind in October found that 36% of the employees surveyed believe looking after workers’ mental wellbeing should be an organisational priority, but only 20% feel their employer takes active steps to help them manage stress.
Emma Mamo, policy and campaigns manager at Mind, said: “We have been polling employees over the last few years to feed into our campaign, Taking Care of Business. What we find quite concerning is that, even though employers are recognising stress as an important issue, this is not filtering across all workplaces.
“We want a better understanding across all employers about what mental health at work actually means and what it should look like.”
Meanwhile, the Axa PPP Healthcare Workplace wellbeing survey, also published in October, found that 73% of employer respondents do not have initiatives in place to support good mental health in the workplace, and 63% do not provide training for managers to look out for signs of stress, anxiety or depression among employees.
Natasha Shearer, founder of Workplace Stress Solutions, said: “It is important that line managers are trained to spot the signs of stress within their teams. They should be encouraged to develop their leadership skills to be able to respond to these types of issues quickly, and to promote and support a culture of wellbeing throughout their organisation.”
Three other pieces of research around workplace stress in November also highlighted the need to focus on recognising signs of stress and managing it effectively.
A survey by healthcare insurer Bupa found that nearly half (44%) of employee respondents are currently suffering from stress, research by Friends Life found that 16% of respondents had called in sick due to stress in the past year, and Canada Life Group research found that 75% of London respondents said stress is a significant barrier to productivity in their job.
Employee Benefits has selected Mind as its chosen charity for the 2014 Employee Benefits Awards, which are currently open for entries.
Stress research statistics
- 36% of respondents believe that staff mental wellbeing should be an organisational priority (Mind)
- 73% of respondents do not have initiatives in place to support good mental health in the workplace (Axa PPP Healthcare)
- 44% of respondents are currently suffering from stress (Bupa)
- 16% of respondents called in sick due to stress in the past year (Friends Life)
- 75% of respondents said stress is a significant barrier to productivity in their job (Canada Life Group)