Staff are suffering from stress-related illnesses, according to a report by Britain at Work. Sonia Rach reports

wellness on a budget

Employee wellbeing is a crucial determinant to a company’s productivity and success. However, research from Lansons and Opinium has found that a fifth of employees (21%) receive no health benefits at work. Moreover, a quarter of employees (24%) have taken time off in the last 12 months as a result of work induced stress.

Additionally, management and organisational change were also contributing factors of concern. Three quarters of employees (76%) are believed to have been through at least one significant change over the last two years; equating to 20 million employees across the country. Alterations to pay and pension terms (48%) and organisational restructure (46%) were among the most common changes.

Only half (51%) said they were kept well-informed of these changes, with a fifth (20%) stating communication was ineffective during this time - suggesting a lack of management skills.

The report also revealed that although 92% of those in management positions state they have the relevant knowledge and skills, 39% state they have received no form of training and only half (53%) were assessed on their skills prior to the role. As a result, there is a lack of trust between employees and their senior leaders.

Scott McKenzie, director of Lansons’ Change & Employee Engagement practice, says: “A quarter of people off because of stress is staggering, and that’s just in the last year.  Not only does this affect the wellbeing of the employee and their families, but employers will eventually feel the impact both on business performance, and on other employees who need to pick up the workload.

“Employees who feel unsupported and disoriented by change, and are poorly led and managed, are unlikely to feel able or willing to improve their performance at work. Employers have a duty of care to provide appropriate support to their employees in order to address these issues.”

James Endersby, managing director of Opinium also commented on the matter. “The job market is more competitive than it was a couple of years back, and we know that around a third of employees are likely to be looking for a new job in the next year.  Employers who want to retain staff should be paying attention.”

To find out more about employee wellbeing and staff productivity, come along to Reward Live, taking place on 11-12 May at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham. For more details, CLICK HERE