Frequently Asked Questions

Medical Insurance: Wellness

Behavioral Health

Wellness - When Personal Stress Affects Work

Sometimes life is overwhelming. Relationships can go south, a spouse can fall ill, and parenting can be a challenge. When negative events occur in an employee’s personal life, the stress can result not only in missed work, but also result in not being able to concentrate while at work. In fact, according to the article When Trouble at Home Becomes Trouble in the Office, 47% of employees admit that personal issues affect their job performance.

What can an employer do to help workers through difficult times, manage their stress appropriately, and improve "presenteeism" when they’re on the job? Depending on the company, there are many steps they can take to incorporate a positive work/life balance for employees.

  1. Recognize when an employee might be struggling. Then discuss their workload and if tasks can be adjusted or hours can be flexed until they are able to better manage the personal challenge at hand.
  2. Be compassionate about what they are going through, but don’t push. Understanding the nature of the employee’s issue might help direct them to the right resources, but don’t get too personal. They should understand that their job performance has been affected and that there are options to help them through this difficult time.
  3. Point them to your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if you have one. EAPs were designed to help employees through life’s ups and downs, so make sure employees know they have access to this when needed. Most medical plans also have substance or alcohol abuse programs, so make sure that information is available in the lunch room or on the company’s intranet.
  4. Inform them of their FMLA rights. If it’s going to be a long-term hurdle, like caring for a dying parent, they might want to consider using their FMLA allowance (if the company has 50 employees or more). Be sure the HR department is well-versed in what FMLA can be used for. Also consider working with an FMLA expert to make sure their absence management runs smoothly.

The biggest impact that employers can have on their employees is to let them know that resources are available to help them through tough times at home so they can put their best foot forward at work.

Contact Us for benefit advice and information about group and individual medical insurance from our experienced health agents at AMERICAN INSURANCE. We can add EAP benefits to most group medical plans.

Source: LifeMap Compass - Inside Insurance Tips and Trends, e-Newsletter April 7, 2016

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FAQ Disclaimer

The content of FAQ articles are general in nature and are not intended as a substitute for professional legal, financial, or insurance counsel for individuals. Insurance coverage forms vary by issuing company and by state. For specific advice contact us.

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