workplace stress

Workplace Stress: Why Employers Should Help Employees Manage Chronic Illness

Workplace stress — as well as in other life areas — continues to be an important focus area for a well-run wellness program. Regular engagement and action may help improve employee health and reduce employer health costs.

We recently noted a Deloitte study titled “At a Tipping Point? Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing” that calls out workplace wellness programs — and other company-based actions — as central to helping employees as well as improving employers’ bottom lines.

  • Employers: “It is important to raise the priority given to mental health and wellbeing in order to move toward a culture which proactively manages mental wellbeing. This could be through the appointment of health and wellbeing leads, or signing-up for corporate pledges. It is also important to take stock and monitor performance using validated tools to track quantifiable measures and gain momentum and buy-in around wellbeing programmes. This can allow organisations to implement relevant initiatives, such as mental health training for managers, and track and promote their success in line with other business metrics.”
  • Employees: “It is important to become actively engaged in their own health and wellbeing and participate in strategies that promote both mental and physical wellbeing. This includes employee involvement in workplace programmes around mental health, with potential actions including volunteering as a mental health champion or making efforts to address stigma through sharing personal stories. Employees should also be made aware of the support available to colleagues and any strategies available to support employee mental wellbeing.”

Workplace Stress

Now the Integrated Benefits Institute has reviewed extensive data and released a report on “Health and Productivity Impact of Chronic Conditions: Depression and Other Mood Disorders.”

The overview states: “Mood disorders, most commonly diagnosed as depression, not only degrade the quality of employees’ lives — these disorders have business costs for employers and the economy at-large.”

Further: “Helping employees manage chronic illnesses remains one of the most viable strategies for reducing employers’ healthcare and disability costs.”

In our next post, we’ll dive deeper into the actual report: “IBI’s Health and Productivity Impact of Chronic Conditions series uses high-quality data to model healthcare, illness absence (i.e., sick days) and disability costs for populations of employees across different industries. The results provide a scalable cost benchmark that employers and their supplier partners can use to assess the potential savings from reductions in the prevalence of a condition, costs of treatments, and illness-related absences and disability leaves.”