Research by MetLife has found that management behaviour is contributing to rising stress with employees blaming their own bosses


There are rising stress levels in the workplaces and 69% of employees blame their bosses, stating that it is having a major impact on company performance. According to the research from MetLife, around 45% of employees say that stress caused by management has led to staff in their organisation taking extended time off.  This in turn increases costs and affects productivity as well as impacting other workers who take on an increased workload.

Government data estimates that around 35% of all work-related ill-health is caused by stress and that stress accounts for 43% of all working days lost to ill-health – the equivalent of 9.9 million working days a year at an average of 23 days per case.

The report revealed that organisations which invest in enhancing health and wellness are seeing benefits and employees welcome the services on offer. More than three-quarters (76%) of employees who receive free counselling on stress issues through their Group Income Protection benefits say the services are valuable, and 59% say Employee Assistance Programmes help improve their health and wellness.

It also showed that younger workers are more likely to suffer the impact of management behaviour on stress: 75% of 18 to 24-year-olds say bosses have contributed to stress in their workplace.

Tom Gaynor, employee benefits director at MetLife UK commented: “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. 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.”