Supporting Employees When They Need you Most

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This April was the 26th annual Stress Awareness Month, and offering a solution to employees is becoming more integral as it becomes a growing concern. People work more than 34 years in their lifetime; so suffering stress is an increasingly likely occurrence and its impact on mental health is becoming more apparent.

Employers can provide support at a time when employees need it the most, and it can be as simple as implementing a basic wellbeing strategy. Stress is not a new problem; it has been affecting workers for years, but only recently has it is become more of a focus as companies tackle their absenteeism levels and look to improve productivity.

How to identify if employees are stressed at work:

  1. Are they under increased pressure? Sometimes the demands of the job can take their toll and employees don’t know where to turn.
  2. Perhaps managers have seen a change in an employee’s behaviour?
  3. Are they taking less of an interest in their appearance and appear irritable?
  4. Do certain employees seem more withdrawn than usual?
  5. Are they working excessive hours?

‘Mental health’ and ‘stress’ are buzzwords within all HR departments. Looking after employees’ mental health is a major part of many companies’ wellbeing strategies and one way of doing so is via an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). They are one of the most common initiatives being offered by employers today. 46% of companies are planning on introducing an EAP at some point over the next 12 months, and have already identified that they are the most effective benefit for their business with regards to increasing productivity levels and reducing absence.

Offering a solution where employees can seek their own help and advice without having to speak to their manager is a step in the right direction. Don’t forget that fewer than one in ten people feel comfortable talking to a manager about any sort of mental health problem. This is where an EAP comes in. However, an EAP is just one solution.

If an employer decides that an EAP is suitable for them – what can be expected?

It is one of the top initiatives offered by employers today and provides the opportunity for staff to receive confidential help and advice from a nationwide network of counsellors at a time to suit them. Services like the one provided by Health Shield via Health Assured, cover issues such as stress, financial worries and bereavement that can all lead to deteriorating health, wellbeing and productivity. It supports employer duty of care and shows they are committed to employees’ health and wellbeing.

Everyone reacts differently to situations at home and in the workplace, therefore everyone has different ways of dealing with their problems. Having solutions in place benefits companies and employees in the short-term and the long-term.

Work related stress and anxiety accounted for two of the top call categories to Health Shield’s EAP service and of those, 84% of them were primarily down to stress. To find out more information about providing a Health Shield EAP or 24/7 Helpline service to employees please visit the products page on our website.