Case study: Coventry Building Society takes steps to limit employee stress

Coventry Building Society employs 1,300 people across the Greater Midlands region including at three head offices in Coventry. A couple of years ago it overhauled its employee benefits programme to help look after the health of its workforce.

Tina Jones, HR project manager at Coventry Building Society, says: “Stress is a real issue in any workplace and we wanted to make sure our employees were as protected from this as much as possible.”

At the heart of its strategy is its wellbeing policy, which covers all areas of wellbeing and has a particular focus on stress. “We included educational sections to help employees identify the causes of stress and make them more conscious of the problem,” explains Jones.

The building society also introduced an employee assistance programme and a range of benefits, some of which are voluntary so employees can pick those that meet their needs. These include everything from a cycle-to-work scheme and health screening to laser eye treatment vouchers and a cash plan.

In addition, it put in place a sickness absence monitoring service to enable it to identify problems as early as possible. “We also ran workshops for managers to help them understand the issues. The way people are managed and stress is dealt with is key to dealing with it,” adds Jones.†