Five ways to support workers struggling with stress

April is Stress Awareness Month, and an opportunity for open conversations about the impact of stress.  With heavy workloads, long hours and pressure to meet targets among the key triggers that can lead to a mental health issue for employees, David McCormack, CEO of HIVE360 shares his thoughts on what employers can do to support staff in protecting their mental wellbeing.

Stress isn’t avoidable but it is manageable. What is important to minimize risk is to identify stress-related problems as early as possible, so that action can be taken before serious stress-related illness occurs. For many, unfortunately work can be a trigger for stress, and stress does have a negative impact on an employee’s general overall wellbeing. Employee wellbeing is vital to businesses, especially if staff are to thrive and be successful.

As a priority, employers should strive to improve stress and mental health awareness across the business. This can be done by educating line managers about the policies and support in place for employees, and providing mental health awareness training so they have the knowledge to recognise the signs of mental ill health, and feel confident in approaching an individual they feel is struggling and signpost appropriate support.

Five of the top sources of stress and how employers can support employees:

1.       Financial Security

As much as all businesses would like to believe that their staff are there because they just enjoy the job so much, the fact is that most people work because they need financial security and offering this as part of staff benefits is vital.

Offering financial staff benefits such as pensions and additional retirement savings can help employees feel secure in their financial future. If employees fall sick or cannot work, they can feel confident that their future is already covered. Providing access to financial advisors or services is also a great staff benefit to support employees and allow them to make informed financial decisions.

2.       Healthcare Coverage

Healthcare coverage is a crucial staff benefit; providing easy access to good healthcare will improve the overall wellbeing of your employees. Offering health insurance and private medical support will ensure that your staff put their health and wellbeing first, with wellness programmes and gym membership discounts also being fantastic staff benefits that reduce stress.

3.       Flexible Working Arrangements

Post-covid, many businesses discovered that working from home can be just as productive and effective as working within the office or work environment.
Offering remote work or flexible hours as part of your staff benefits package helps reduce stress and absenteeism while boosting morale and team wellbeing.

4.       Professional Development Opportunities

Allowing staff to become stagnant is a massive business error, particularly as the labour market continues to shrink and attracting new talent continues to be a huge challenge. Not investing in the development of your employees will invariably lead to increased staff turnover. By investing in training as part of your staff benefits, you can upskill your team and demonstrate how important your staff are to your business, boosting their own self-worth, their wellbeing and their confidence.

5.       Paid Time Off

If your staff need a day off ‚Äď pay them for it. Including a generous holiday allowance in your staff benefits package will increase retention and wellbeing by giving the team the work-life balance they deserve.

Use employee benefits to boost staff wellbeing

Staff benefits can be a great way to boost employee wellbeing, build morale, and create a positive working environment.

HIVE360 offers extensive employee wellbeing and benefits via the HIVE360 Engage app, to give staff access to everything from health and wellbeing support, access to mental health and healthcare professionals 24/7, to exclusive discounts on supermarket and high-street brands and every day living expenses.

HIVE360 provides expert, compliant and reliable PAYE payroll support and comprehensive employment administration. A GLAA (Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority) license holder, HIVE360’s payroll solutions ensure full HMRC, RTI, GLAA and IR35 compliance.

HIVE360 provides its customisable, comprehensive, employee benefits and wellbeing package via its unique Engage Employee Benefits app as standard and at no extra charge to businesses that outsource payroll and employment administration to the company. Available in 120 languages, Engage represents an Employee Assistance programme available all in one place, on-the-go, 24/7. Engage includes My Health, My Money, My Discounts, My Training, and My Work features and has an average of 100,000-plus user sessions each month, with levels of user engagement topping 85%.

All HIVE360 solutions give employees access to a dedicated employee assistance programme and crisis support helpline. For more information:

Stress Awareness Month

Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992 to raise awareness of the causes and cures for the modern-day stress epidemic. It is the time when we have an opportunity for an open conversation on the impact of stress. Dedicated time to removing the guilt, shame, and stigma around mental health. To talk about stress, and its effects and open up about our mental and emotional state with friends, families, colleagues, and professionals.