Why managers are to blame for increasing stress in the workplace

Management behaviour is contributing to rising stress in the workplace with employees blaming their own bosses for adding to the pressures they feel, new research from MetLife shows.

The study, of more than 1,000 full-time employees in May of this year, shows 69% 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% 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.

The working impact of stress

Government data estimates that around 35% of all work-related ill-health is caused by stress and that stress accounts for 43% 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%) of employees who receive free counselling on stress issues through their Group Income Protection benefits say the services are valuable, and 59% 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 shows younger workers are more likely to suffer the impact of management behaviour on stress: 75% of 18 to 24-year-olds say bosses have contributed to stress in their

This article was supplied by MetLife.

Associated Supplier

Read the next article

Sponsored By

Topic Categories

Related Articles

Sponsored Articles

Editor's Picks

The do's and don'ts of employee engagement and technology

Join our community


Sign up for REBA Professional Membership and join our community

Professional Membership benefits include receiving the REBA weekly email alert, gaining access to free research and free opportunities to attend specialist conferences.

Professional Membership is currently complimentary for qualifying reward and benefits practitioners. 

Join REBA today