Stressed Employees Need HR Resources, Boundaries

Lena J. Weiner, for HealthLeaders Media , March 17, 2014

It's essential that employees know of the existence of EAPs and other resources that will help them to get a handle on stress, O'Keefe says. What good is a yoga class if no one knows of its existence or if employees are too busy to take advantage of it?

"We have developed a very robust wellness program which extends to physical wellness," she said, 'regarding her healthcare system's wellness program. "We encourage wellness in our employees by having incentives around stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy body weight, monitoring blood pressure, [and] just dealing with stress in productive ways."

A new benefit St. Luke's is offering is health coaches, who actively work with employees to find fitness solutions they can work into their schedules, such as on-campus yoga classes and lunchtime walking groups.

Drawing Boundaries
It's important to remember that healthcare is a business and that, while most human resource pros are very good listeners with inviting personalities, they are not the office shrink or guidance counselor. Employees to find the information they need without HR's help.

''It's our job to set up the resources, and then make sure we're communicating it very well," O'Keeffe said.

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2 comments on "Stressed Employees Need HR Resources, Boundaries"

M Burbary (3/20/2014 at 9:43 PM)
I was struck in the face by a surgeon. No one witnessed it. Later that same morning he had a major melt down that everyone saw. When his assault was reported, I was moved to another site and life has gone on as usual for him and I have a long commute. My word against his according to HR. So much for zero tolerance for violence. Nobody cares, don't let anyone kid you.

Michael Cylkowski (3/17/2014 at 5:40 PM)
"Stress can kill you" says O'Keeffe, but then again she says, "HR needs to have healthy boundaries." Eh? Your company's culture is often the stressor so do something about it. Where are all these supposedly wonderful 'wellness programs'? A large part of the ACA is to get patients to adopt healthy behaviors. It seems the healthy behavior here would be for the employee to walk away from the stressor. Surely O'Keeffe realizes that providing professional counseling is cheaper than recruiting and retraining replacements.




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