Stress makes it difficult for employees to find the energy to take care of themselves, and it can impact their work. Managing employee stress is now a business imperative. But while a SHRM survey1 shows that 86% of employers identify stress and burnout as a major threat to their workforce, only 26% have a formalized wellbeing program in place to help employees manage stress, showing that there is still work to be done. Fitbit Health Solutions shared three things you can do to optimize your workplace well-being program:
- Focus on holistic health: Stress not only affects mental wellbeing, but can also lead to physical health issues like heart disease and high blood pressure. This means you need to offer comprehensive, holistic health tools that include stress management and emotional wellbeing components, in addition to health tools that support traditional wellness initiatives like smoking cessation, movement, and healthy eating.
- Make workforce wellbeing a 24/7 focus: Stress doesn’t end when a shift is over. To support employees effectively, you need to provide tools that work for them all day long.
Focus on programs and solutions to deliver at-work, at-home, and on-the-go health and wellbeing experiences. Studies show that consistently using a fitness tracker or other wearable device can help people increase their step count by more than a mile each day, and added physical activity is linked to better sleep and reduced stress. Meanwhile, wearable tech can also shine a light on how caffeine or other foods may affect an individual’s sleep and stress metrics over time.
- Make programs adaptable: Employees will get more out of a program that can be tailored to their personal goals and where they are in their health journey. At the same time, employers know that the world can change at any moment, and need to be able to quickly pivot to meet the needs of employees. For business leaders and their workforce, adaptability is key.
When employees have the right information about their health metrics and how they’re impacted by their behaviors, they can see what is and isn’t working for them and make changes to improve their wellbeing over time. Employees can also catch negative trends early, heeding warning signs that can prevent a small issue from becoming a major one.
Undoubtedly, employee mental health and stress management is something that all employers need to prioritize. By investing in both the mental and physical wellbeing of employees, organizations can support a healthy workforce that ultimately translates to a healthier business.
1. Society of Human Resources Managers.Employers Identify Workforce Mental Health Priorities for 2022. 2022