4 Ways Stress Influences Small Businesses

Nowadays, workplace-related stress has acquired endemic proportions. It affects employees’ performance and productivity and affects their physical and mental health. On the other hand, it brings financial losses to organisations due to absenteeism, turnover, loss of precious working hours, non-achievement of targets and paying compensation to employees for their occupational diseases.

Though workplace-related stress and burnout affects organisations of all sizes, it disproportionately affects small businesses. This is because with fewer employees, each employee shares a proportionally larger work burden creating an increased likelihood to develop mental health issues. If even a single employee is on leave due to these issues, it can drastically reduce working hours, productivity and operations of a small business.

Uprise is an accredited EAP provider whose employee assistance programs help employees in small organisations overcome and control their work-related stress and improve their mental health and wellbeing. Uprise provides tailored support to manage the key risks of stress to small businesses. An analysis by PwC found that Australian small businesses have a $14.50 return on investment for each $1 spent on mental health relating to the workplace. The Uprise Employee Assistance Program returned $16 on average for each dollar spent for businesses between 20 -200 employees. If you or a small business you know of is interested in offering affordable mental health support, get a quote today.

Here are the 4 ways that stress influences small businesses:


Job burnout is a kind of job-related stress, which makes workers feel physically, emotionally or mentally exhausted. They doubt their competence and the value of their work. Workers suffering from job burnout may become cynical or critical, irritable with co-workers or clients, lack energy to work and feel disillusioned about their job.

A small business can use an Employee Assistance Program to address employee burnout proactively and preventatively. The Uprise Employee Assistance Program is based on early intervention, teaching employees skills for stress management before they experience crisis. These skills are a part of our digital programs, with a new skill taught each week on an online platform. They help employees overcome current stress and provide preventative support to make them more resilient to burnout in the future.

Psychological Safety 

Psychological safety is the belief that the workplace culture feels safe for team members to take risks. It is a necessary factor in the innovation and success of teams as it allows people to challenge current systems to become more productive and effective. When employees feel excessively stressed by the workplace environment, psychological safety decreases along with worker productivity.  

The Uprise Employee Assistance Program is different from traditional EAP because we use Stepped Care. Stepped Care teaches employees how to take their wellness from well to thriving. A thriving employee is more likely to feel safe taking risks and gains days in peak productivity due to higher engagement. 


In small teams and organisations, conflicts can arise among employees due to poor communication, different personalities and values, increasing workload and unhealthy competition. Conflicts can be exacerbated by stress causing strain in relationships with other employees or customers. This can lead to poor decision making and reduce performance and productivity or lead to various psychological conditions.

Uprise allows employees experiencing workplace related conflict to discuss it with a registered clinician phone coach. The coaching calls can emphasise how the skills learnt in the digital program can be applied to their situation so they can better manage it.


Work-related or personal stress left unaddressed can contribute to higher employee turnover, which is particularly detrimental to employees in small organisations. Re-hiring and training may take valuable time away from small business owners and can significantly increase unnecessary expenses.

By providing an Employee Assistance Program in a small business, employees perceive greater company and manager support for their mental and emotional wellbeing. Uprise can offer preventative support to those starting to experience deteriorated wellbeing and can offer therapy or recommend in-person counselling for employees requiring a greater level of support. These offerings can ultimately help the organisation reduce turnover and make employees more engaged and productive.

Uprise is a preventative employee assistance program (EAP) provider that improves employee engagement, retention and performance by enhancing psychological wellbeing. Learn more about how our program solves employee stress.