• More than half of EBCs report workplace stress rising at organisations
  • But nearly seven out of ten say there is no agreed best practice for stress management                                                                                        

Training managers to spot rising stress issues in the workplace before they become a business problem has the most impact on improving wellness, new research1 from MetLife Employee Benefits shows.

Its exclusive study found 71% of Employee Benefits Consultants (EBCs) rated investing in stress management training for managers the most effective technique for tackling workplace stress, over regularly used approaches such as free access to healthcare and counselling sessions.

Offering training to employees, identified as creating stressful environments for colleagues, was the second most effective approach, rated by 67% of EBCs. The study for MetLife, which is the UK’s third largest Group Life and fourth largest Group Income provider 2, found nearly three out of four (74%) of EBCs believe wellness monitoring is a major concern for businesses over the next two years.

Major employee health priorities for EBCs include li

More than half of EBCs (55%) reported a rise in mmits on working hours identified by 61% while 60% said mental health issues and increased working from home will be priorities for employers to address.ental health issues at organisations they work with and 72% believe employers need to understand more about the impact of stress and mental health at work.

There are signs the tide is turning – 52% of EBCs believe there is growing momentum among employers to address mental health. But a major barrier is that 69% of EBCs say there is no agreed best practice on how to tackle stress.

MetLife’s Group Income Protection includes a Wellbeing Hub offering confidential health and wellness services and tailored data insight reports to help pinpoint potential risks and issues with employee health and wellness. Line managers can access dedicated support to enable them to address day-to-day workplace challenges.

 Adrian Matthews, Employee Benefits Director, MetLife UK said: “Tackling stress and wellness in the workplace does not need major investment as the most effective techniques identified by EBCs focus on individuals.

“Training managers to be able to address stress issues before they become a problem and helping individuals whose behaviour can cause stress are relatively simple initiatives which can make a major contribution to addressing wellness at work.

“It is encouraging that EBCs believe that momentum is building to address mental health at work but without agreement on best practice to tackle the issue making progress may be difficult.”

The research1 found just 44% of EBCs believe that optional counselling sessions are effective at tackling mental health issues while 59% say offering free access for staff to healthcare professionals is helpful.

EBCs are becoming increasingly interested in developing services to help employees improve their finances – around 50% say personal finance education and training at work is effective in enabling employees to cut stress and be more effective at work.

But around two out of three (66%) EBCs agree that employees remain very reluctant to discuss mental health issues at work and 55% say that discussing mental health and stress at work is career-limiting.