Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Workplace stress and burnout

Work related stressors have repeatedly been identified as contributors to workplace stress and burnout of staff at all levels. See Spooner-Lane, R. Dr. 2007.Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing. Vol 25. No. 1 and also some excellent publications available from Australia's National Research Centre on AOD workforce development (NCETA).

The research clearly defines work related stressors as being an unsustainable workload, role conflict, role ambiguity, a physically demanding work environment and the impact of continuosly dealing with other people's concerns. NCETA's research shows that young and less experienced managers are more prone to stress and burn out than their older, more experienced colleagues. While this may be good news for those that stay the distance, the same research also showed that younger managers and workers were more likely to move out of the health sector as a result of these work stressors.

Which simply serves to illustrate the potential cost. Stress and burnout of staff increases the operational costs of your organisation through increased absenteeism, additional staffing costs, poor customer engagement leading to low quality service delivery.

According to NCETA's research there is evidence to suggest organisational issues and demands rather than the challenges of working with people in need, that have the greater impact on stress and wellbeing. (Skinner, N., & Roche, A.M. (2205) Identifying and preventing burnout in AOD managers and supervisors.National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.

The cure here, if we might use that term, is for organisational management to take a holistic approach to reducing workplace stressors. It is not sufficient to focus only on the individual employee; instead the focus should be on the root cause of the stress, and on removing the root cause. Contact John Coxon to arrange a meeting to discuss how this issue may be addressed in your organisation. We can bring a very highly experienced project team of three people to work on this issue immediately. It could save your organisation a lot of money and angst.

Let The Journey Continue
John Coxon
Taking You From Frontline Manager to CEO
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