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Companies 'need to recruit to help beat stress'

Nearly half of all employees say recruitment freezes have left them feeling under-resourced and under-staffed at work leading to increased stress, research* by MetLife Employee Benefits shows.

Its study found 46% of employees believe their organisation has not recruited enough since the economic downturn with 40% saying workplace stress would be reduced if employers took on more people

The findings highlight a divide between employers and employees with companies investing in workplace benefits to boost employee health and wellbeing but not always seeing the benefits. Around 50% of employees say they have access to a range of wellbeing benefits including medical care, gym memberships, counselling services and flexible working hours.

Around 42% of employees say their company helps staff to deal with work pressure and stress and nearly one in three (31%) say employers help new recruits to understand the pressure involved in their job.

MetLife Employee Benefits believes the research highlights the benefits for employers in focusing on increasing organisational resilience and its report BUILDING RESILIENCE IN THE WORKPLACE with a foreword by leading expert Dr Brian Marien of Positive Group provides a range of practical steps employers can take to address the issue.

Tom Gaynor, Employee Benefits Director of MetLife UK, said: “Recruiting more staff is a major investment and potentially risky but there are actions employers can take to help the employees they already have without huge investment.

“Employees need to feel supported and the evidence is that employers recognise the issue and are trying to provide that support to their workforce but are not getting the message across.

“Increasingly Group Risk providers are building wellness programmes into their propositions which can help prevent stress. Providers are also helping employers with the crucial issue of communication and ensuring staff are aware there is support.”

MetLife research* found  employees are most likely to be offered flexible hours – 29% said they could work flexibly – while 20% have access to Employee Assistance Programmes offering telephone or online counselling.

Its own ProActive Protection group income protection policy provides a Wellbeing Hub offering a range of health and wellbeing information and other support services. Staff can use the Employee Health Gateway to calculate their own ‘Health Age’ and receive personalised health and wellness information.

There are also comprehensive 24x7 employee assistance programme providing practical life management support, guidance on health issues and counselling services, including if necessary access to five face - to- face counselling sessions.

www.metlife.co.uk


  • * Research conducted  online between March 4th and 11th  among a nationally representative sample of 1,052 full time employees aged  18+ by independent market research firm Consumer Intelligence
  • ** MetLife’s Brighton office is situated at Invicta House, Trafalgar Place, BN1 4FR