What employee stress can cost employers

Just in case you hadn’t heard it recently; we live in stressful times. And stress, as ubiquitous as it is today, takes a toll on your employees’ professional performance, personal relationships, and emotional health.

Stress impacts bodies, moods, and behaviors. In particular, it can cause muscle tension, fatigue, headaches, hypertension, irritability, inflammation, and a host of other concerns. 

While stress can have positive results in the short term, like a surge of energy to get out of a dangerous situation, when left untreated, it can lead to numerous chronic conditions and health concerns.

The impact on employee health can lead to increased healthcare costs to address stress-related conditions and health crises. It is estimated that job stress alone costs employers more than $300 billion each year. With increased presenteeism, absenteeism, and burnout, it is vital that employers start considering stress management programs and mental health support for employees.

Let’s take a quick look at some data about what employees are currently experiencing and what you should consider in a wellness program to mitigate employee stress.

The value of mental health programs to manage stress

Wellable Labs surveyed 197 health insurance brokers on wellbeing benefits and employee health in their 2022 Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report. The results showed brokers reporting stress and burnout as two major issues for employees. Only 1% “said they believe their clients have a strong understanding of how well employees are managing chronic workplace stress.” 

Further, the survey found more than a third of adults experienced an increase in depressive symptoms. They also reported a “21% increase in burnout and a 17% increase in physical symptoms of stress.” 

Brokers are urging their clients to offer more internal resources dedicated to stress management at work. They aren’t alone in this push, clearly, and many leading employers have been offering mental health point solutions for a while. 

However, at Burnalong, we are also seeing a shift towards focusing on mental health as part of holistic health (impacting body, mind, finances, and relationships). An effective employee well-being program cannot be solely focused on encouraging good health through diet and exercise, rather it needs to support the whole person. Additionally, the corporate wellness offerings need to be inclusive, unique programs that serve different types and the varying needs of employees.

As the need for comprehensive programs increases, so do the expectations. Employees are looking for a range of options from employers in supporting their mental health. One survey reported that “97% of respondents said that employers should be working to improve the mental health of their employees, and 76% say that mental health benefits were critical to them when evaluating a new job.”

How to reduce employee stress

Now is the time for companies to value and foster individual and holistic wellbeing. By investing in and prioritizing inclusive benefits, employers will be able to empower employees (and their families) to take care of and better themselves in whatever capacity they need. Plus, by offering support that doesn’t require additional insurance claims, it can remain anonymous and part of their overall wellness journey.

By expanding wellness program offerings to be more effective and diverse, companies have the opportunity to prevent burnout, help their employees build emotional resilience, and better manage stress.

Offering alternative resources and digital wellness tools where employees can focus on areas such as mindfulness, financial health, and better sleep will allow employers to better support their people. Burnalong offers classes to help with all of these topics and so much more.

To support employee stress management, we’re highlighting a few of the courses and programs (curated list of classes) that employers and their employees can use to reduce stress: 

Are you ready to implement a comprehensive wellbeing program that can lead to happy, healthy employees and a more productive, profitable company? Schedule some time with our team so we can help you (and your employees) get set up for success.

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