Case Study 2 – Stress management programme

Electronic engineering company

  • Client: East Sussex-based electronic engineering company, global market leader in the design and production of electronic access control systems

  • Sector: Engineering & Manufacture

  • Number of employees: 350

  • Type of workforce: Brighton site consists mainly of electronic engineers, technical support, marketing, HR and other administrative staff. Eastbourne site consists mainly of production staff.

  • Employee demographics:  Employees varied in age (age range 19 – 60+ years) and approximately 70% of employees were male.

  • Wellbeing objective: Improve health and wellbeing in the workplace by educating staff about the impact of stress on physical and psychological health and productivity, and teaching them effective stress management techniques.

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Stress management programme

According to a recent study by CIPD, stress now accounts for 47% of short-term absences and 53% of long-term absences in the UK, costing the British economy an average of £6.5 billion a year. Stress Management and Prevention programmes tackle stress at its cause and help to boost employee happiness and productivity, saving businesses considerably in lost time and revenue.

Our bespoke Stress Management Programme provided a wide range of practical tools to help improve productivity and wellbeing of employees. The programme focused on educating employees about the issues surrounding stress and burnout, how to recognise key signs of burnout, and tools and techniques to effectively manage stress and improve resilience.

The programme also focused on educating employees about the importance of diet through nutritional support workshops which taught them how to use food to best maintain their energy levels throughout the day and support prevention of burnout and long-term illness.

The challenges faced by the workforce varied significantly across the two company sites, and the programme sought to provide a range of practical tools that could be applied in both contexts. These included learning how to identify stress markers and practical stress recovery and prevention techniques, including mindfulness, healthy eating habits, sleep, regular breaks and the cognitive-behavioural approach to dealing with difficult situations.

Sessions were kept to 60 minutes each to encourage more employees to take part and reduce the time pressures and stress of lagging behind. We ran two series of on-site workshops that were delivered across a period of several months – a total of four days of workshops at both sites.

The Stress Management and Burnout Prevention programme consisted of:

  • 60 minute Stress Management & Burnout Prevention workshop (x 8 with 4 sessions taking up to 15 employees and 4 sessions taking up to 10)
  • 60 minute Nutrition for Good Health & Productivity workshop (x 7 with 4 sessions taking up to 15 employees and 3 sessions taking up to 10)
  • Assessments conducted by anonymised online surveys a few days before and 4-6 weeks after each session. Programme evaluation report + consultation.

As part of our company’s wellbeing initiative, Sussex Wellbeing Company carried out stress and nutrition workshops to provide our employees the knowledge and tools they need to combat stress in and outside of the workplace.  The feedback has been brilliant and the follow-up reports have given us tangible evidence of the benefits the workshops have had on our employees.

Approximately 90 employees attended each of the two workshops, many of them attending both.

Programme evaluation

Following the programme, the number of employees reporting high stress levels was nearly halved, so only 25% of employees still reported moderately high stress levels at the one month follow-up (compared to 42% who reported moderately or very high stress levels at baseline).

Additionally, the employees reported more stable energy levels throughout the day compared to the mid-afternoon energy dip which was observed at baseline. This effect on energy levels was observed only among Eastbourne-based employees, who also seemed keener to implement healthy eating advice introduced in the nutrition workshop.

Out of all the lifestyle changes, coping tips and nutrition advice that were covered during the workshops, all respondents implemented one or more (typically three) over the course of one month following each workshop. Other parameters such as number of breaks during the working day and nutrition knowledge also showed moderate improvement.

Additional interventions and changes to company policy were recommended in order to optimise employee engagement and productivity. The most important of these was replacing a compulsory 30 minute lunch break at their manufacturing site in Eastbourne with three 15 minute breaks. The company decided to pilot this with the aim of enabling employees to maintain a high level of attentional focus throughout the shift, and minimising the risk of error and injury.

Based on these results, we recommended different types of future wellbeing interventions at the two company sites. Brighton-based employees were more stressed and more open to trying out stress management tips and strategies, which is why a mindfulness-based programme was deemed to be particularly suitable. Eastbourne-based employees, on the other hand, were less stressed but seemed more receptive to advice related to their physical health, which is why they would benefit more from further nutritional, sleep behaviour and musculo-skeletal health interventions.

A stress management programme like this for an organisation of a similar size would cost approximately  £3,000. Discover our full range of packages.

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