10 September 2008

What is happening out there in the world today that is creating negative Work Environments?

Business more and more today is lead by Multi-national Global Corporations, often privatised so answer to the share holder, it is about the return on investment of the dollar, not the human being working to serve the corporation with blood, sweat and tears.
Unfortunately corporate competitive pressures, relentless drive for productivity & profitability is commonplace worldwide. This leads to the drive of management to stay afloat and at the top, by reduced costs, faster and smarter performance each year through a continuous scrutiny of process & people.
Yet employees, who ultimately turn business plans into profit reality, are themselves under more pressure than ever before. Social, domestic and economic responsibilities place growing and conflicting demands on limited time.
Physical ill health and damaged wellbeing are frequently the largely invisible result, with huge competitive and financial implications for the companies who employ these workers.Today real skilled dedicated long term employees loyal to commit to a 30year career are rare, as it is an employees market, leaving companies, big and small competing to lure in talent.
With such economic pressures there is potential disasters waiting to occur with increase stress in the workplace, people will today simply ‘get up and walk out the door’, therefore business need to understand the real commercial benefits of improving employee wellbeing, if this area is neglected it can, despite available knowledge and resources, HR teams (who often are in over their head, and only exist to promote ‘management hardlines’ not bring innovation), poor workplace culture can ruin a business and ruin reputation, as employees do tell people the truth of their experiences, this in itself is a therapeutic outlet from the stress they endure in the workplace.

Some interesting statistics from the US....

- 10% of the workforce report very low levels of satisfaction with both their job and the organisation.
- 20% of staff will report they have suffered some major life event in the past 3 months.
- 3% will report levels of mental ill health that are worse than those of psychiatric outpatients receiving clinical treatment for anxiety and depression.
- 3% of annual turnover may be lost, and this is just the direct costs.

How have you seen workloads increase, and do you think this has contributed to more stress in the workplace to create bullying and harassing behaviour, especially from your peers (sideways)? Do you think big business care? Do you think your HR team cares?

So what are some of the things you see happening in your workplace to make improvements?

Please drop me a line.

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