Why Employee Stress Levels Matter
The Towers Watson report spells out clearly what HR professionals already know: "Employers are recognizing that health is a total business issue and a lack of it affects workforce performance." A few statistics compiled by the American Psychological Association [PDF] reinforce the point:
It's strategically important for employers to help workers manage the stress factors that cause absenteeism, productivity losses, and increases in healthcare costs.
Wellness Programs Aren't Helping
One tactic many employers have been trying is wellness programs that incent workers to make lifestyle changes such as weight loss and smoking cessation. The idea is that as the health of a workforce improves, the employer's costs for health insurance and lost productivity go down. There's just one hitch: wellness programs aren't really working. A few reasons: