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Risk Management Bulletin


By October 1, 2011No Comments

Worker stress levels have increased within the past few years as the economic downturn has led to layoffs, heavier workloads, a higher percentage of workers taking second jobs to make ends meet, and declining household incomes, due to family members’ lost wages.

In a recent “Stress in the Workplace” survey by Buck Consultants (, more than four in five participants (82%) reported that employee stress has a significant or moderate impact on their company’s healthcare costs. A large majority of respondents also said that stress has had a significant or moderate impact on absenteeism (79%) and on workplace safety (77%).

In response to rising employee stress levels, many employers are taking steps to help their workers manage stress. According to the Buck Consultants survey, 66% of participants have implemented four or more programs to reduce on-the-job stress, while 22% have at least eight programs in place.

The survey listed these Top 10 stress-reduction strategies:

  1. Employee assistance programs (78%)
  2. Flexible work schedules (63%)
  3. Work/life balance support programs (46%)
  4. Leadership training on worker stress (45%)
  5. Online healthy lifestyle programs (45%)
  6. On-site fitness centers (43%)
  7. Physical activity programs (38%)
  8. Stress awareness campaigns (35%)
  9. Financial management classes (32%)
  10. Personal health/lifestyle management coaching (29%)

The more effective these programs, the lower the stress on your workers – which adds up to higher productivity and a healthier return on investment.