Managing Employee Stress

Each month on Talking Benefits, I join Julie Stich, Kelli Kolsrud and Justin Held, International Foundation benefits nerdthusiasts, to discuss a trending employee benefits topic we think our listeners want to know more about. This month, the team continued our series on mental health and took a deep dive into stress and its impact on the workplace.

Managing Employee Stress: Mindfulness in the Workplace

By tuning in, you’ll learn more about the physical and mental health effects of stress, as well as what employers can do to help manage them.

One stress management tactic growing in popularity is mindfulness. If you’re new to the concept of mindfulness, below are a couple points to help define the concept. Mindfulness will be further illustrated in the podcast, along with ideas on bringing a mindfulness program into the workplace.

  • Mindfulness training is being used in a variety of settings: businesses, schools, police departments, the military and athletics. Organizations that offer mindfulness training include Aetna; first responders in Emeryville, California; Google; General Mills and Apple.  
  • Aetna has been offering mindfulness training for employees for awhile now. In 2012, the company’s health care costs decreased by 7%. Aetna estimated that productivity gains were equal to about $3,000 per employee.
  • Mindfulness in the workplace impacts both employees and employers—The practice helps to manage employees’ stress responses so they aren’t in a chronic state of stress/distress. When employees experience these benefits, it can also have a positive effect on an organization’s bottom line.

We can’t eliminate stress—nor should we—but we can manage our response to it with strategies like mindfulness. Nearly 40% of employers are reporting that their workforce is very or extremely stressed, so this is a podcast episode you won’t want to miss.

Check Out Part 1 In This Series:

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Related Reading: Making Mindfulness a Workplace Priority

Anne Patterson
Communications Associate at the International Foundation

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