Stress Is No.1 Workforce Risk In Asia



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The 2013/2014 Towers Watson Staying@Work Survey has found some intriguing information about how companies approach issues about the health of their employees, and how their employee’s health influences productivity.

Companies that are highly effective in their health programmes and workforce management are more likely to adopt a multi-faceted, holistic approach to health and productivity (H&P), the study found. Such an approach would include a focus on data, the commitment and support of senior leadership, and effectively integrating technological tools.

Stress in particular was found to be the No.1 workforce risk in Asia, with its sources still obscure and unidentified. The study found that employers are struggling to tackle it.

Despite the high ranking of stress as a risk, however, when companies in Asia-Pacific were asked about their priorities when developing their H&P programmes, only a third cited improving the emotional and mental health of their employees. Additionally, only 26% of employers in Asia currently offer a programme on stress or resilience management.

The top three actions taken by employers to tackle stress seem to be education and awareness campaigns (implemented by 41% of employers), flexible working options (40%) and stress management interventions such as yoga and tai chi workshops (38%). However, many employers take no action.

Fourteen per cent of Asia-Pacific employers said they have implemented none of the programmes suggested in the survey (22% of employers in China, 16% in Singapore, and 10% in India). Only 5% of employers in the United States said the same.

The 2013/2014 Towers Watson Staying@Work Survey was completed between May and July 2013 in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia by a total of 892 employers. In Asia, the survey had 372 respondents from China, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.

Originally posted online on 24 February, 2014.

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