Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 26th, 2012

Tips on: Reducing stress at work

Do you think that High workloads, physically and emotionally demanding work, uncertainty about the future, the temporary nature of jobs, lack of talents, growing older, competition with new graduate students with versatile abilities and technical expertise…. can lead to stress and therefore to poor mental wellbeing?

Joanna and Toby’s of  posted their Point of View on Nov.22, 2012 under “Reducing stress at work: A few simple tips

We’re all likely to experience job-related stress at some point in our lives.

But wellbeing is fundamental to everything: how we think, feel and function through the courses of our lives.

It is a precious individual and collective resource that needs to be protected and enhanced.

Around the world, a growing body of evidence is showing that people with lower levels of stress and higher levels of mental wellbeing are more creative, more productive and take less time off work.

They have better resistance to colds, feel pain less acutely and even live longer.

Additionally, there’s a compelling organisational case for better mental health: Annual costs of mental ill-health to a UK organisation with 1,000 employees are £835,355 (NICE, 2009).

However, the Department of Health’s mental health strategy highlights that each pound spent on mental health promotion at work generates net savings of £10 within one year.

Each single pound spent on early intervention for depression at work generates net savings of £5.

The 7th of November was the National Stress Awareness Day.

This inspired us to think about and share a little bit of what we learned on a project we carried out in London, where we shadowed nurses and admin staff to examine the issues that impact on their stress levels and ultimately, their mental wellbeing.

We found out that there are some practical, low-cost measures that managers can take that could have a significant impact on the team’s wellbeing. Here are a few:

1. Acknowledge that sadness is not a weakness: those we spoke to tended to suppress their emotions. However, allowing yourself the release of crying or talking about stressful moments increases your ability to deal with them

2. Recognize your team’s achievements: many felt that they rarely received praise or thanks for work done well or delivered in the face of difficult circumstances

3. Link rewards to emotional needs rather than organisational targets: for example, you could encourage your team to monthly nominate a colleague who has been particularly supportive or has dealt well with a difficult incident – let them decide the metrics. The person with the most votes could win a reward linked to wellbeing, such as a fitness class

4. Facilitate informal peer-to-peer support: opportunities to get together and chat with colleagues following a stressful or difficult event or day were valued more than compulsory supervision

5. Protect time for training and development and share opportunities with your team: most of those we spoke to wanted to develop their skills and progress their careers, but felt that opportunities were not communicated and continuing personal development time often slipped

6. Create opportunities for your team to get to know colleagues from other teams, specialisms and bands: ‘meet and greets’ were felt to be good for morale, making staff, particularly in frontline and junior positions, more likely to be treated as human beings, rather than just functionaries

7. Assess the physical ability of each member of staff individually: physical resilience varies, with some members of staff able to withstand long periods on their feet or physically demanding work better than others; but injuries and fatigue are detrimental to wellbeing (end of article)

So far so good. The wellness attributes in workplaces are what Human Factors in Engineering are concerned with: The safety and health of workers, physically, mentally and emotionally.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

November 2012
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