Businessolver Blog

Three Ways to Address Skyrocketing Workplace Stress Levels  

Three Ways to Address Skyrocketing Workplace Stress Levels  
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 by Jackie Abbott

April is Stress Awareness Month and it’s a great opportunity for employers to consider a holistic approach to helping employees manage their mental and financial health, both in and outside of work. 

For workers across the nation, stress levels today are high, and burnout is quickly transforming from buzzword to reality. Considering pandemic turnover, inflation, and recent layoffs, employees have several reasons to feel the pressure.  

For 57% of Americans, they’re struggling to ride economic ups and downs and cover their present expenses like rent and utilities, meaning some have to make hard decisions they didn’t have to make a few months ago. 

High stress can quickly become expensive—both for employees and employers, averaging about $300 billion each year. Here are the top reasons workers experience stress: 

  • Unsustainable workloads 
  • Financial stability 
  • Lack of support at work 
  • Balancing work and a personal life 
  • Unexpected changes at work 
  • Job security 

Chronic stress can be devastating on the mind and body, exacerbating existing health conditions, and potentially creating new concerns like depression and anxiety. On the mild side, stress can cause fatigue, headaches, and digestive issues. Long term, the consequences of unchecked stress are more dire, including substance abuse, heart problems, and insomnia. 

While indulgences like cake, cocktails, and shopping can be part of a healthy self-care routine, stress can make it difficult to enjoy these things in moderation. A lifetime of bad habits can make employees vulnerable to costly chronic health problems without a safety net.

Before poor performance and absenteeism turns into urgent care visits, employers must start tackling employee stress with a multi-pronged preventive approach. Organizations that cultivate empathetic cultures help employees overcome stress and live life to the fullest. 

Financial wellbeing sets the stage for life-long health and happiness.  

Without wiggle room in their budget, employees living paycheck-to-paycheck are worried about getting a cold and missing a couple days of work, let alone anything more serious. And what about taking a vacation? They’ll cross their fingers for next year. 

Even employees with high salaries and stable incomes can struggle with financial literacy and stability, forgoing their savings to accrue debt. Financial stress takes its toll on employees, distracting them from work, at best, and leaving them without any sort of emergency fund, at worst.  

Making employee benefits simple, means finding help is a breeze.  

Simple? Employee benefits? That might sound oxymoronic as many HR teams are expanding their packages and voluntary offerings to better serve their increasingly diverse populations. 

Modern HR technology, like Benefitsolver®, can help simplify benefits for employees in several ways: 

  • A single portal for all benefits information 
  • Automated multi-channel communications  
  • Personalized individual experiences 
  • Decision-support tools to connect to best-fit benefits 

One impactful way employers can help reduce employee stress is to make it easy to find answers and benefits information. Benefits programs are the steppingstones from health concerns to primary care providers, from anxiety and depression to licensed therapists.  

Culture and flexibility amplify employee wellbeing. 

A little positivity goes a long way in creating an empathetic workplace: When employees feel recognized and appreciated, they are 90% less likely to report feeling burnt out. The nature of work will always be fast paced, but it’s up to managers to decrease the pressure. Abstain from blame; instead, if things don’t go as planned, ask sincere questions and listen for learnings.  

Remember, employees have a lot going on outside of work that they might not share with colleagues and managers. They have people at home they deeply love. The state of interpersonal relationships can be a major source of happiness—or a major source of stress. 

Empathetic cultures give employees the benefit of the doubt, offering flexible solutions to empower employees to take on the challenges of life. 

A quality employee experience brings culture and benefits together to prioritize the employee. At Vision 2023, we’re diving into the Worthwhile Workplace with exciting keynotes, panel discussion and more. Register by April 20 to receive your event kit!