Employer Study on Stress and Resilience Interventions

Posted on December 30, 2013 by VITAL WorkLife

Updated May 7, 2021

We've written previously about the issue of workplace stress—its prevalence, its impact and how organizations can work to address it. Late last year, the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine published a very interesting article, "Employer Perceptions of Stress and Resiliency Intervention," based on interviews and discussions with 46 employer representatives from employers representing 1.3 million employees, around their perceptions of their organizations' strengths in addressing stress and resilience-building with their employees.

The results showed that participants' organizations engaged in three main categories of approaches in addressing workplace stress:

Preventing distress and building organizational resilience (primary prevention)


  • Ethics, values, mission, role/goal clarity, diversity, career development, training/mentoring, policies
  • Strong communication (face to face, conflict resolution, predictable structure, multiple levels)
  • Manager/supervisor training on mental health topics and support services
  • Health champions

Providing information, resources and benefits for employees (secondary prevention)


  • HRAs/screening and coaching
  • Information, webinars and coaching
  • Referrals/self-referral to Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Behavioral Health

Actively intervening with "troubled employees" (tertiary prevention)


  • Disease management/case management
  • Disability management/return to work
  • Absence and disability prevention

Participants in the study found that EAPs provided valuable support at all levels, such as:

  • Providing information and resources around stressors, stress response and coping skills
  • Helping individuals with personal resilience
  • Helping teams with communication skills and conflict management
  • Helping managers and supervisors in identifying and helping employees in distress
  • Proactive case management with troubled or chronically ill employees, or those on disability
  • Working cross-functionally with internal departments such as HR, risk management and external vendors such as disability carriers to assist individual employees who are at risk or with return to work issues
  • Coaching leaders on dealing with their own stressors, and in being more effective in the relational and interpersonal aspects of their roles.

These are all areas where VITAL WorkLife can help, and where we have made a positive impact with individual employees, workgroups and across organizations.

We encourage you to read the entire study—it has valuable information and insights, and creates a framework that can help any organization as it seeks to address workplace stress effectively and increase employee satisfaction and engagement. We also encourage you to reach out to your account manager to discuss ways VITAL WorkLife can assist you and your organization in your own initiatives.

Pathways to Well Being call VITAL WorkLife at 800.383.1908 or access resources through your VITAL WorkLife App

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