Work-Life Experts Launch New Web-Based Training to Help Employers Battle the Costs of Stress and Build a Resilient Workforce

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Work-life pioneer Susan Seitel and stress management consultant Rachel Hastings announce the release of a user-friendly e-course that will reduce stress and increase resiliency, benefiting both employers and employees.

Minnesota-based work-life specialist Work & Family Connection has launched a new tool in the battle against workplace stress. The company's latest web-based course, "From Stress to Resiliency," will be an invaluable resource for organizations looking for ways to reduce employee stress and build a more productive workforce. Providing a systematic framework to increase individual resiliency skills, the course has four modules and can be completed in less than two hours. A variety of learning methods are used and original graphics keep users engaged.

The first two modules of the new course, From Stress to Resiliency, help participants strengthen relaxation and coping skills and work toward developing a healthier lifestyle. There's also a section in the first half that gives employers an opportunity to showcase their own offerings and programs such as resource and referral services, childcare and eldercare support, flexible work arrangements, workshops and training, health and wellness programs, leave options, etc., programs that help reduce employee stress levels.

In the second half, employees are introduced to the centerpiece of the course − the 10 Key Resiliency Skills. They're helped to see, among other things, that they can choose beliefs and thoughts that empower them. They practice creating more powerful and creative options when faced with challenges, and complete exercises designed to help them become more organized and take better control of their time and responsibilities. They work on building relationship and communication skills, and complete an exercise that will help them improve their own self-esteem. The course stresses the importance of becoming adaptable and flexible, and using mistakes and other feedback to keep learning. One section focuses on managing emotions productively, another on becoming responsible and accountable for choices.

The course was several months in development, and is based on extensive research. It was developed in response to studies showing that stress costs U.S. businesses more than $300 billion annually. In Canada, costs to businesses are estimated at $16 billion, and in the UK, $7.3 billion.

Today’s workers are experiencing significant and continuous changes, new technology, global competition and the need to do more with less. The pressures of learning new skills in an increasingly competitive and uncertain job market add to the strain. Competing needs and priorities on the home front as well mean that workers’ time, energies and focus are stretched as never before. The cost of these pressures is passed on to employers in a variety of ways:

  • Higher health costs (increases in the incidence of heart and cardiovascular problems, substance abuse, infectious diseases, certain cancers, back pain, injuries, abdominal obesity, stress, burnout or depression, leading to higher insurance payments and EAP costs).

-Increased turnover (40% of employee turnover is due to stress).

-Absenteeism and lowered productivity (half of the 550 million working days lost annually in the U.S. from absenteeism are stress-related, and by 2020 the primary cause of lost working time will be stress).

-Poor performance and lack of engagement (sleepless nights leading to lowered cognitive ability, mental fatigue, presenteeism, feelings of pressure).

-Workplace accidents and claims (stress increases the likelihood of accidents, fatalities and claims at work).

More companies are becoming aware that comprehensive stress management efforts are called for to support workers and relieve their work-life strain; many are beginning to address workplace contributions to stress levels. At the cutting edge of stress management and healthy workplace initiatives are employers like GlaxoSmithKline, which is carrying out widespread culture change around the development of resiliency to transform their workplace into a healthier, more functional and productive environment.

Why Resilience?

Organizations with highly resilient employees have an advantage over their less resilient competitors. Both companies and their employees benefit when they can . . .

  •     Organize and manage themselves effectively

Choose a healthy lifestyle and practice work-life balance

  •     Develop a good sense of humor and fun
  •     Become optimistic and confident
  •     Adapt quickly and bounce back from difficulties
  •     Become increasingly proactive, responsible and accountable
  •     Solve problems and focus on solutions
  •     Accept constant change as part of life
  •     Learn from difficult situations and mistakes
  •     Listen and communicate effectively
  •     Accept responsibility for their actions
  •     Live according to a meaningful set of values
  •     Remain calm in a crisis

Resiliency is the ability to be successful, both personally and professionally, in the midst of a high-pressured, fast-paced and continuously changing environment. It's all about . . .

  •     Maintaining a good level of health and energy when under constant pressure
  •     Coping well with ongoing change
  •     Bouncing back easily after a setback
  •     Overcoming problems by taking action
  •     Adapting to change when the old ways of living and working no longer serve you
  •     Constantly learning and being flexible to new and better ways of managing your life

Organizations wishing to purchase a license for the course will be able to customize the script and the look and feel of the course, and have it translated into the language of their choice. The course can also be taken by individual users, and can be made compatible with an existing Learning Management System (LMS).

For more information, or for a preview of this new course, contact Rachel Hastings − − or visit

About Work & Family Connection:

Since 1984, Work & Family Connection has been working to help employers create a workplace that is both supportive and effective. Products and services include a news and information service, consulting, training and survey tools.


Rachel Hastings, VP of Marketing & Training


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Rachel Hastings
Work & Family Connection, Inc.
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