WORK RELATED ISSUES
We live in an ever-changing world that from time to time is like a roller coaster having its ups and downs. How an organisation and their staff manage change is vital to the success of the organisation’s business development.
In managing change situations organisations require effective planning and also require their staff to understand and adapt to the change. This can be a difficult transition for staff and they often require individual or group support to make the adjustment that is required. Key issues addressed in a support process are, understanding the reason for change, managing change, using change as an opportunity and understanding behaviour that results from change.
Abate Counselling & EAP Limited’s Managing Change Programmes can provide individual or group workshops to support staff and the organisation to effectively manage change.
When conflict is present in the workplace, productivity and efficiency decrease as people focus on their distress rather than their work.
Causes of workplace conflict can include personality or style differences and personal issues such as relationships, childcare and family problems. Organisational factors such as leadership and management styles, budget targets and disagreement about core values can also contribute to escalating workplace conflict. These issues can affect both workplace productivity and personal well-being.
Signs of workplace conflict may include:
- Negative attitudes
- Frequently unresolved misunderstandings and arguments
- Low morale
- Poor work attendance
- Staff feeling undervalued
- Feelings of insecurity amongst staff
Clear, regular communication is needed to live and work together to maintain a strong working relationship. Relationships that flourish tend to sustain an easy, flowing communication. Relationships that are struggling can have poor communication, which can severely affect the work performance of employees. Lack of concentration, accidents and low morale can be some of the issues that employers may have to deal with and try and to manage.
Abate Counselling & EAP Limited have programmes that can effectively deal with these issues and consequently remove the pressure from Management.
A healthy workplace can be defined as ‘having financial success, being cost effective and having a workforce able to maintain optimum performance.’ In our high-speed and achievement oriented workplaces, the challenge of creating a healthy balance between our personal and professional life is ongoing. Now more than ever do organisations need to take the initiative and direct more resources and attention into the development and implementation of stress management strategies in the workplace.
Recent research reveals that more than a third of workers feel stressed, burnt out or out of balance with their life and work. So much so that it affects their performance and is frequently cited as the cause for absenteeism, low morale, problems with concentration and poor decision-making.
When an employee says, “I’m stressed” they might mean any one of these:
- personal pressure
- or powerlessness
Abate Counselling & EAP Limited’s programme develops practical steps and a personal map so that employees can understand the link between:
· Workplace stress and balance in life
· Identify warning signs
· Factors causing life-work stress
· And develop skills to appropriately manage one’s own responses to stress.
Depression can affect workers’ productivity, judgment, ability to work with others, and overall workplace performance. The inability to concentrate fully or make decisions may lead to costly mistakes or accidents. In addition, it has been shown that depressed individuals have high rates of absenteeism and are more likely to use drugs and alcohol, resulting in other problems inside and outside of the workplace.
Symptoms of depression include fatigue, memory loss, concentration, weight loss or gain, and, in severe cases suicide.
Unfortunately, many depressed people suffer needlessly because they feel embarrassed for fear of being perceived as weak, or do not recognise depression as a treatable illness. As many as eighty percent of people with depression can be treated effectively, generally without missing much time from work or needing costly hospitalisation.
Grief is a normal part of life and can be preoccupying, depleting, intensely emotional and unique. Grief can present for people at any time through events such as; changes in health, traumatic situations, death, redundancy, relationship separation or violent experiences. How we manage our grief is important this often requires good communication, understanding and listening. People experiencing grief are in a transition of adjustment and require empathy from family, friends and work colleagues. How organisations manage situations of grief and trauma is important in allowing those affected to move forward.
The economic and human cost of drug and alcohol abuse to organisations is substantial. With the majority of people with drug and alcohol problems being in the workplace, the workplace provides the unique opportunity for intervention and support.
If managed properly, employees will respond positively to pressures to deal with their problem and improve performance.
Alcohol abuse (the dangerous use of alcohol without dependence) and alcoholism (a dependence on alcohol) are major social, economic, and public health problems in the Ireland.
Each year, many hundreds of deaths nationwide are wholly or partially attributed to drinking. Alcoholism is the third leading cause of death nationwide; it would be number one if traffic accidents and death certificate diagnoses related to alcohol were included in the statistics. Alcoholism reduces the life expectancy of alcoholics by 10 to 12 years.
What is Bullying?
“Workplace bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work. An isolated incident of the behaviour described in this definition may be an affront to dignity at work but as a once off incident is not considered bullying.”
(HAS Task Force 2001 – (cited by Codes of Practice HAS & LRC)
Bullying is a gradual wearing down process, often triggered by a work-related conflict. During the early phases of bullying, the victim is subjected to aggressive behaviours that are difficult to pinpoint by being very indirect and subtle. The victim may not have insight into or recognise what is happening (‘it crept up on me’! The bully is just a difficult person’!).
Exclusion is another form of bullying either by an individual or group. There may be a deliberate intent not to invite you to an important meeting, send you a copy of an important memo, let you know about work in progress, deliberately passing you over for promotion, or fail to give you information or the resources necessary for you to complete the assigned task. Another tactic is to give the target impossible workloads with unrealistic deadlines, in an attempt to set the target up to fall. These negative treatments that are meted out often result in the target feeling invalidated and worthless.
For the most part, bullying behaviours are covert and take place behind closed doors where there are not witnesses present. The target is worn down gradually over a period of time. It is often very difficult for the victim to gather tangible evidence due to the covert nature of such behaviour.
Some of the coping strategies most commonly applied are the belief by the target that it is their ‘fault’ their ‘problem’, believing that they are to blame. There is denial that it is happening, avoidance and thoughts such as “I should be able to handle this myself”.
Victims may trivialise the violence cognitively e.g. “making a mountain out of a molehill”. That does not mean that their emotions will necessarily follow such cognitions. There can be feelings of dread and nausea on a Monday morning at the thought of going to work.
Victims use personal interventions to try to deal with the problem by themselves. Personal interventions vary from obliging/appeasing the bully – going out of their way to please – to assertiveness and even aggressive strategies. By using an aggressive strategy, the victim challenges the integrity of the offender and enters the power struggle with the offender. Aggressive strategies are risky, as the most powerful person, the person with the ‘power’, be it status or ‘referred’ power, is most likely to win.
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