'Don't relegate stress management policies to the appendices of your employee handbook'
Organisations have acknowledged they need to do more to increase workplace resilience - despite increased awareness of the impact of workplace mental health issues, according to a new report from MetLife UK.
The Mental Health and Stress: Building Employee Resilience in the Fourth Industrial Revolution report claims nearly six out of ten employers have to increase the focus on helping their staff to build resilience and 66% say organisational resilience has to be driven by the company’s leadership.
Moreover, over a third (34%) of employers were aware of stress being caused within their own workplace.
The study also showed differing views between employees and employers regarding workplace expectations - only 37% of employees believe their employer was honest at recruitment stage about job demands, while more than half (56%) of HR leaders believe that stress risks are made clear.
However, there has been progress in addressing the issue of workplace stress, with 64% of employers saying that their organisation now offers support, compared with 51% when MetLife first researched the issue in 2014.
What employees feel is real, and despite views from management that they are taking action, it is clear that more needs to be done, according to Adrian Matthews, Employee Benefits director, MetLife UK.
“This shouldn’t deter employers. Whilst some programmes come with a cost, many initiatives can be created and implemented that do not.”
He said it’s important to note that employers are saying that they need help: 84% said there is no clarity on best practice to address mental health issues in the workplace.
“It may be that the explosion of interest in the topic is leading employers into inaction, and this is a very clear opportunity for employee benefits consultants, in tandem with insurance providers to step up and help.”
Additionally, Sir Kenneth Olisa who wrote the foreword to the report, said: "Workplace stress management isn't just a matter of social justice, it is also a matter of competitive advantage. The practical advice in this report is a good basis for a strategy to change the way we work."
"The message of MetLife UK's report is clear - don't relegate stress management policies to the appendices of your employee handbook."