The behaviour of managers is increasing workplace stress, claims study

workplace stressManagement behaviour is contributing to rising workplace stress levels with employees blaming their own bosses for adding to the pressures they feel, a new study of 1,200 people by MetLife claims. The study suggests that 69 percent of employees say that the behaviour of managers in their organisation has increased stress and that the rising stress is having a major impact on company performance. Around 45 percent of employees say that stress caused by management has led to staff in their organisation taking extended time off.  This in turn increases costs and affects productivity as well as impacting other workers who take on an increased workload. Government data estimates that around 35 percent of all work-related ill-health is caused by stress and that stress accounts for 43 percent of all working days lost to ill-health – the equivalent of 9.9 million working days a year at an average of 23 days per case.

The impact of management behaviour is a drain on the effort and investment that organisations are putting into enhancing health and wellness at work and can impact the value staff place on these services as they see their company’s leaders behaving counter to the culture organisations are trying to create.

The research shows, organisations which invest in enhancing health and wellness are seeing benefits and employees welcome the services on offer. More than three-quarters (76 percent) of employees who receive free counselling on stress issues through their Group Income Protection benefits say the services are valuable, and 59 percent say Employee Assistance Programmes help improve their health and wellness.

Tom Gaynor, Employee Benefits Director at MetLife UK said: “Complaining about your boss is not unusual but clearly when the behaviour of management is increasing stress in the workplace there is an issue to be addressed beyond trivial moaning. It is very worrying that nearly half of all employees say management behaviour has meant people taking time off because of stress in their organisation. Some stress is good and of course most people need clear goals and challenges to perform at their best but when it is causing extended absences action needs to be taken. Managers should be ensuring stress is tackled before it becomes a problem, not contributing to it.”

The research claims that younger workers are more likely to suffer the impact of management behaviour on stress: 75 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds say bosses have contributed to stress in their workplace.

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