Friday, May 16, 2008

Helping Employees Cope With Stress

What to do about Stress? Stress is a fact of life for any person. Stress can come from both positive and negative events in a person's life. For example, a big job promotion might be a positive for an employee but bring added stress. An employee may also have a negative experience at the loss of a loved one, sickness in the family or divorce. Employers can help employees cope with stressful times through a variety of ways. For example, many companies offer EAP's (Employer Assistance Programs) where an employee can obtain counseling services from therapists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals in the network. In addition, an employer can offer flex time or give time off to an employee who is experiencing a stressful situation. Time away may give the employee rest, recovery and the opportunity to develop a new outlook about their issue.

Stress is something that everyone will experience at one time or another during their lifetime. A study conducted in 2003 by the Grief Recovery Institute Educational Foundation Inc. in Sherman Oaks, California revealed that American companies sustain an estimated loss of $75.1 billion each year due to stress related issues The death of a loved one tops the list as the grief incident that costs employers the most money, an estimated $37.5 billion per year. Coming in second is divorce at $11 billion; followed by family crisis, $9 billion; death of a friend, colleague or extended family member, $7 billion; financial loss, $4.5 billion; major lifestyle alteration, $2.4 billion; pet loss, $2.4 billion; and other losses, $1.2 billion.

Stress is real. Stress costs money. Awareness and a committment of support and resources for stressed out employees will make for a happier, healthier workplace. For more information or ideas on how to reduce stress check out:

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