With April being Stress Awareness Month, we’ve spoken to a range of people experts from major tech brands about the importance of the campaign.

They’ve shared their thoughts on raising awareness and breaking the stigma around stress, exploring how we should be fostering employee wellbeing with examples of the fantastic initiatives that they are driving at each of their organisations:

David Homer, Managing Partner at Kyndryl UK&I and Executive Sponsor of the Wellbeing KIN

“Stress Awareness Month is an opportunity to encourage open conversations around our mental, physical and emotional health. Navigating the constant stresses of life can often be overwhelming, meaning it isn’t always easy to strike a balance between these three very important aspects of our lives.

For organisations, this is a chance to action the responsibility they have to their employees to help recognise, manage and reduce stress. Of course, work can be a major factor which causes people stress but creating an inclusive and safe environment not only creates a successful workforce, but also encourages people to bring their authentic selves to work and express themselves without facing stigma. Appointing in-house advocates and offering tailored resources provides employees with the tools to address stress early, before it becomes chronic.

At Kyndryl, we put people at the Heart of Progress by creating and living-out a culture of empathy, empowerment and understanding through clearly expressed values that are defined through The Kyndryl Way. Our “Wellbeing Ambassadors” are open to candid conversations and can signpost to our range of internal and external resources, which are available 24/7 to support our employees. This is driven from our “Kyndryl Inclusive Network” (KIN) for Wellbeing, a passionate group of Kyndryls from all areas of the business, who are coming together to encourage wellbeing as “everybody’s business”.”

Emily Mikailli, Chief People Officer at Signifyd

“This year’s Stress Awareness Month serves as a reminder to us all that employee wellness needs to be a top priority for business leaders across all industries. One way that companies can look to do this is by considering a move to a four-day workweek. This is something that we at Signifyd introduced a year ago and the results speak for themselves.

By rethinking the assumption that 5 days of work should be the norm, and giving our teams more time to recharge and enjoy their lives outside of work, we’ve found that our employees are coming to work happier, more engaged, refreshed and with new, creative and innovative ideas. In employee surveys, the portion of respondents who say Signifyd allows them to balance their work and personal life continues to increase. It was up by 7% in the most recent survey, reaching 94%. And we have seen no drop in customer satisfaction or other key productivity markers.

We believe employee wellness should be considered a top business priority. When managed thoughtfully, a four day workweek can be a game changer for employee health, productivity and satisfaction. And happy employees drive even better business outcomes.”

Chelsea Coates, Chief People Officer at GWI

“Not all stress is a bad thing. It can be our body’s or mind’s way of telling us we need to respond or react or that we need to slow down. However, in the current climate and with high levels of uncertainty, there’s been a perfect storm between many external factors at play and increased home/remote working. For many, it’s got too much.

Employers need to consider which support measures to put in place to help their employees manage stress, for example by encouraging genuine flexible working, time management training, or providing expert mental health training. It’s also really important to take a holistic approach to the support you offer – allowing employees to choose which areas they need help with. Whether it be fitness support, financial advice or access to mental access services, every employee has individual needs.

And one of the most crucial things a business can do to avoid stress is to ensure maximum alignment and clarity throughout the organisation. Employees who don’t receive this clarity tend to be subjected to “busy work,” which requires them to continuously switch between a variety of shifting goals. This can be a major source of tension and frustration in the workplace.”