The World Health Organization considers stress as the health epidemic of the 21st century. Chronic and high levels of stress can lead to heart diseases, high blood pressure, weakened immune functions, impaired cognitive performance, and problems in metabolism, among others. Nearly half of the workforce report suffering moderate to severe stress at work, and this is alarming as it has tremendous and encompassing effect on individuals, families, and organizations.
Stress is one of the major causes of absenteeism and turnover in companies, costing American businesses up to $300 billion a year. Employees report difficulty focusing on tasks at work as a result of too much stress, while others point to stress as a reason behind errors and missed deadlines, trouble getting along with superiors and co-workers, tardiness, and missed work days. Needless to say, stress among employees is a serious problem, which warrants an employers’ attention and resources to form solutions. An employer must also ensure the job is well designed.
Employee assistance programs can aid in a company’s problem with workplace stress, as they enhance employee well-being and engagement. An organization that aims to stay competitive in this unpredictable economy must know the value of a decreased rate of employee turnover, as well as a reduced number of disability or stress claims. Here are three of the companies that have gone the extra mile in managing stress in the workplace:
- Google. The search engine powerhouse, for starters, grants its employees flexible hours, volunteer time, and vacation time. Aside from this, employees also have access to a holistic wellness program that includes healthcare services, fitness centers, classes, and community bikes. Google also gives the employees opportunities to acquire personal and professional skills outside their job assignments through cooking classes, guitar lessons, and coding classes, to name a few. In addition, employees are also provided financial wellness resources such as access to financial advisors and financial planning services.
- Microsoft. The company offers education and resources for smoking cessation, fitness training, and weight management, aside from funding employees’ gym memberships or fitness-related equipment. Microsoft also provides its employees and their spouses “Know Your Numbers” health screening events for diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. Its employee assistance program also provides personal and family counseling, stress management, and referrals for child and elder care.
- Accenture. This business consultant company offers confidential support to employees for issues such as stress, substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. Employees also have access to healthcare providers 24/7 for any health-related question. Accenture’s wellness program encourages employees to set health goals and offer rewards for accomplishing them. Aside from this, the company also offers special rates and discounts in gyms and fitness centers.
Indeed, promoting health and wellness in the workplace can decrease workplace stress. The three organizations above have seen the value of such programs in keeping their employees healthy, productive and engaged. Here are other ways for employers to manage workplace stress:
- On-site recreation and fitness centers
- Wellness adventures
- Yoga and meditation classes
- Paramedical services, such as massages
Are you suffering from excessive stress at work? Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
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