Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
by Dennis DePeiza
With all of the changes taking place in today’s workplace, it is unimaginable that these are not in some way having a physiological impact on workers. Some may be inclined to think that the primary concern of most workers, would be the retention of employment.
Operating in a climate of uncertainty, there is the distinct possibility that workers are generally faced with higher levels of stress, anxiety, fear and even anger. This state of mind may have come about as a consequence of changes to their conditions of work and the abrogation of their rights.
It would appear that the physiological problems facing workers are not highlighted in much the same way in which the focus is being placed on social and economic deprivation.
As workers struggle to adapt to the enforced changes in the workplace, they are challenged to get employers pay attention to their health and well-being.
It would appear that these are low on the priority list of employers.
The psychological stress which workers undergo, is more often than not induced as a result of the treatment they receive from their employer and or management personnel.
Workers often find themselves under pressure to meet deadlines and targets. This in some instances is the basis for the creation of tension and frustration.
The demands and expectation placed on workers, sometimes give rise to competition amongst fellow employees. This contributes to the creation of division and anger. There is also the distress experienced by some
is fuelled by alleged acts of employee favouritism and acts of victimisation. These are matters that tend to destroy the morale of the members of staff and cause individual employees to become demoralised, demotivated and disenchanted.
These form the basis for the mounting pressures that drive workers not to want to come to work, and moreover, have the potential to reduce their productivity.
Workers are expected to enjoy their jobs and to feel a sense of satisfaction with the outcomes from their input. Where the desire to come to work is depressed and there is a lack of inspiration, these are the signs of an employee’s uncomfortableness and uneasiness.
It is known that workers are inclined to give of their best where there is evidence of a positive mindset. Employers should be mindful that they have an obligation to develop, strengthen and motivate their employees.
Taking a closer look at what is happening in the current labour market, there is a sense that workers are being made to feel that they are at the mercy of their employers.
As many experienced, academically qualified and skilled workers are placed on the breadline, this gives rise to the mounting distrust of employers and personal disillusionment amongst displaced workers. For employers to have successful businesses, it is for them to attempt to attract the brightest and best.
If it appears that the treatment of their employees leaves a lot to be desired, the possibility looms that this could be detrimental to their efforts to recruit the quality staff which is required.
While this may appear to be insignificant to some, it should not be overlooked that the reputation of companies can become tainted where former employees are able to tell of their bad experiences and treatment meted out to them by management.
Where red flags are raised of exploitation of workers, breaches of workers’ rights and of the multiplicity of indifferences on the part of management, these can impact on the psyche of potential workers.
Employers can have a positive impact on the psyche of workers by simply engaging with them, reaching out to them and making an effort to meet their needs.
Basically, it is for employers to first treat their employees as human beings.
This can be the perfect recipe to reduce workplace stress, improve mental well-being and increase worker productivity.
As part of the exercise of good management, employers should also pay attention to workloads and to the incentivization of their employees.
Showing remorse, empathy, compassion and interest in the welfare and well-being of employees, will also go a long way in changing the mindset, attitudes and dispositions which employees may have.
Employers should work towards creating a congenial workplace environment in which fairness and equality of treatment are practised, workers are treated with dignity and respect, merit is used as a tool to provide for promotional opportunities, discrimination is rebuffed, workers are motivated to be productive, and have reasons to display a higher sense of commitment and dedication to the job.
The creation of a positive outlook and the energising of employees can be achieved, should employers and managers operate in such a manner as to build trust, earn the respect and confidence of their employees.
Dennis DePeiza is a labour & employee relations consultant, Regional Management Services Inc. Visit our Website: www.regionalmanagement services.com