Resilience training key to wellbeing – MetLife

Tom Gaynor, MetLife
Tom Gaynor, MetLife

Resilience training should play a major role in helping organisations to support employees and to boost productivity says MetLife

Colleagues not doing their jobs properly is the major cause of stress in UK workplaces, with 49 per cent of workers blaming others for their stress while 45 per cent blame problems in achieving financial targets and being understaffed and 41 per cent of staff saying under-recruitment was causing stress, research from the insurer has found.

The research found 27 per cent of workers say they have put on weight because of stress while 23 per cent admit they have turned to alcohol as a result.

The research, published in a paper called Organisational Resilience, shows that home life has an impact at work, with 19 per cent of staff saying their home life is more stressful than work, and 67 per cent saying domestic issues affect their performance at work.

MetLife carried out the research to support its initiative of delivering resilience training support into UK employers. The insurer believes developing resilience could be a key service differentiator for corporate advisers.

The report highlights the practical and relatively low cost actions organisations can take to reduce stress and anxiety amongst workers. This includes conducting a stress audit among staff to find out what help is needed and creating a supportive leadership culture as managers are crucial to helping staff cope with stress, developing internal communications programmes which enable employees to communicate their concerns and introducing resilience training to address the root causes of stress, as well as encouraging staff to use their EAPs and wellness solutions.

MetLife UK employee benefits director Tom Gaynor says: “In chronic cases it can lead to depression and mental health issues, and force employees out of the workplace entirely. At the same time costing employers heavily in terms of lost productivity and replacement costs, as well as funding for treatment through insurance.

“Although it’s perhaps less well understood how tackling stress and wellness at work can help prevent issues escalating and prevention is clearly better than cure. The best way
to do this is through helping individuals to build greater resilience so they can overcome difficulties as they happen, or react to challenges with composure.

“Easily said perhaps, but not so easily done. People are not necessarily born with resilience for every situation. However, employees can learn it and employers can play a role as enablers. We believe resilience is a powerful and relatively low cost way for businesses

to significantly boost their performance and competitiveness. That is why we commissioned research into the issue and produced this paper.

“If we were to isolate a single lever in helping alleviate stress it would be the role of the manager. The Employee Benefit Trends Study that we published in January 2015 showed that when managers are supportive employee engagement rises substantially.”