Thursday, October 15, 2015

EAPs: Helping Job-stressed Employees at Risk for Stroke

People with high stress jobs have a 22 percent higher risk of stroke than those with low stress jobs. That’s what an examination of six studies concluded after following 138,782 people for 17 years. That is a big number. And that increases credibility in my view. What’s high stress? Answer: Time pressure, mental load, and coordination burdens. That's what the study focused on. Researchers to see physical labor as producing the same degree of mental stress. EAP Impact: Create services and programs which 1) give people more control over their work. Become a “control over your work expert” in your organization to reduce health problems and health risk by doing so. These at-risk jobs include nursing aides, waitresses, service industry positions among others. Anywhere people are faced with unpredictable demands and very little ability to have any control over when, how much, and the details of how they going to do that work create inordinate stress. Who in your organization matches this sort of occupational profile? There's the value added proposition. My suggestion is to forget the brown-bag seminar approach. Make it more programmatic than that. For example, invite employees into the EAP as self-referrals to discuss their job stress and discover how more control can be instituted. The answers you find may save a life.  Test your assumptions, ideas, and strategies. That is what these medical researchers are concluding. EAPs are in the most strategic place to make this difference.