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Survey suggests stress in the workplace is intensified by managers

Wed, 24 Aug 2016

New research has shown that employees blame managers for the overwhelming level of stress that they have to face every day.

According to a study conducted by MetLife, 69 per cent of respondents think that their managers’ behaviours in their workplace adds to the stress levels, adding unwanted pressure on individuals and even resulting in company performance being impacted by the rising stress levels.

There were 1,211 full-time employees involved in the study. 45 per cent said they believed that the level of stress that management has caused them has given rise to extended time off work within their company. This also leads to the workload of other employees increasing, affecting productivity and resulting in a less efficient business.

Government data estimates that stress is accountable for approximately 35 per cent of all work-related ill-health cases. Additionally, stress is attributed to be the cause for 43 per cent of all working days lost to ill-health. This equates to 9.9 million working days per year.

"Complaining about your boss is not unusual but clearly when the behaviour of management is increasing stress in the workplace there is an issue to be addressed beyond trivial moaning," said Tom Gaynor, Employee Benefits Director at MetLife UK.

"It is very worrying that nearly half of all employees say management behaviour has meant people taking time off because of stress in their organisation.

"Some stress is good and of course most people need clear goals and challenges to perform at their best, but when it is causing extended absences action needs to be taken. Managers should be ensuring stress is tackled before it becomes a problem, not contributing to it."

The survey shows that organisations focusing on enhancing the health and wellness of their employees are reaping the rewards, as their employees are more willing to go the extra mile. Stress management counselling, available for free through Group Income Protection benefits at work, were rated as being valuable by 76 per cent of participants. Meanwhile, 59 per cent say that Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) help to improve their health and wellness.
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